The Most Successful Winter Games of All-Time for HEAD
The Winter Games in South Korea are over and they have been the most successful for HEAD athletes in history winning 18 medals. With the Team Event medals even 22!
3 x Gold: Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) in the Men`s Downhill
Matthias Mayer (AUT) in the Men’s Super G
Andre Myhrer (SWE) in the Men’s Slalom
Wendy Holdener (SUI) in the Team Event
Denise Feierabend (SUI) in the Team Event
8 x Silver: Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) in the Men’s Downhill
Alexis Pinturault (FRA) in the Men’s Combined Event
Beat Feuz (SUI) in the Men’s Super G
Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) in the Women’s Downhill
Anna Veith (AUT) in the Women’s Super G
Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) in the Women’s Giant Slalom
Wendy Holdener (SUI) in the Women’s Slalom
Marc Bischofberger (SUI) in the Men’s Skicross
Stephanie Brunner (AUT) in the Team Event
7 x Bronze: Beat Feuz (SUI) in the Men’s Downhill
Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) in the Men’s Super G
Alexis Pinturault (FRA) in the Men’s Giant Slalom
Wendy Holdener (FRA) in the Women’s Combined Event
Lindsey Vonn (USA) in the Women’s Downhill
Tina Weirather (LIE) in the Women’s Super G
Isabel Atkin (GBR) in the Women’s Slopestyle Event
Jonathan Nordbotten (NOR) in the Team Event
For almost every athlete it is the biggest goal to win a medal, but the road to success is always hard and rocky. The fact that the games only take place every four years makes it even more difficult to deliver right on time. At HEAD it is important to help our athletes achieve their dreams and support them wherever we can. It just makes us happy and proud when we see racers picking up their medals knowing that we provided the necessary equipment for them. Winning a medal is never easy and after many years of training, athletes also need a little bit of luck and the fastest material to finish first. The same enthusiasm that is used for our professional athletes racing gear is also used to build equipment for non-competitive skiers who just ski for the fun of it.
The Men’s Downhill and Super G have been the highlights of the Games for HEAD, sweeping both podiums. In Downhill, it was Svindal crowning his fabulous career with a victory ahead of fellow attacking Viking Kjetil Jansrud and Swiss skier Beat Feuz. Coming back from a very bad knee injury, Aksel put, once again, everything together and earned his fourth Olympic medal and second gold.
In Vancouver 2010, he won gold in Super G, Silver in Downhill and Bronze in Giant Slalom. “Being a part of these games you could feel the spirit and the enthusiasm in the team. And you can feel the same coming back to Norway. Most of the Norwegians follow the games with an enthusiasm that is just as real as the athletes and staff that take part in the games. With that kind of support, it feels almost natural that we get great results. I will remember this forever.“
The Super G was an incredible race with five rebels on top. After his gold medal from the Sochi Downhill, Matthias Mayer once again finished first and could hardly believe this result. “Any medal would have done it for me“ the modest Austrian noticed in disbelief. He thought it was not fair that he won gold again. Coming back for a bad Slalom crash in the Combined Event two days earlier, he was not happy with his performance in the Downhill but put all the focus on the Super G where he put down a clean run 0,13 ahead of Beat Feuz.
Feuz, reigning World Champion in Downhill and this years winner in Garmisch, Wengen and Lake Louise, wanted the gold of course but was happy with silver and bronze. In third place, Jansrud celebrated his fifth medal after Silver at the Giant Slalom of Vancouver, Super G-Gold, and Downhill-Bronze in Sochi. Blaise Giezendanner from Chamonix surprised with a fourth place and did not forget about his former team member David Poisson. “A chocolate medal! At the Games, only the first three places count but I am really happy about this fourth place. It means a lot to me. I hope from where you are Kaillou (Poisson’s nickname), you are proud of us.“ He will be proud of his teammates for sure!
Alexis Pinturault showed strong skiing on difficult and aggressive snow in South Korea and was rewarded with two medals – a Silver in the Combined Event and another Bronze in Giant Slalom; he already finished third in Sochi. “I had my heart to give the best of me and to represent my country with honor. I am proud of my games, my country, and all the delegation. Thank you all for allowing me to go home with these two medals and a huge smile!“
Wendy Holdener and Ragnhild Mowinckel also packed two (single) medals into their luggage; Wendy finished second in the Slalom and third in the Combined Event and won Gold in the Team Event skiing together with Denise Feierabend. Ragnhild surprised everyone, with her Silver at the Giant Slalom and even more with second place in Downhill ahead of top favorite Lindsey Vonn. With four consecutive top 8 finishes in the last World Cup Downhills, the Norwegian already showed her high-speed skills. Lindsey Vonn may have expected more, but after a difficult season coming back from injuries winning a medal, it is still a big success.
Another great comeback story was written by Anna Veith, who just missed gold by 1/100 of a second and received the silver medal for a very strong performance in the Super G. “This feeling…I had a dream the last two years – today it came true. #silvershineslikegold“ she posted after her run.
Tina Weirather showed some great sportsmanship when she celebrated with Mowinckel, who kicked her off the podium in the downhill “Friendship is stronger than medals“. Well spoken Tina! After the games, she said: “After 18 days at the Olympics I am traveling home with a big smile. It was an experience of a lifetime. I witnessed heroes being born and dreams being crushed, met extraordinary people, felt inspired by jaw-dropping performances, went through highs and lows myself and now I have this thing (medal) in my pocket and I feel complete.“
Great Britains first ever skiing Winter Games medal was won by the young Izzy Atkin, who scored 84,60 points in her last run in Women’s Slopestyle to win Bronze.
Swiss Skicross racer Marc Bischofberger added another silver medal to the HEAD medal count; although he was leading the FIS Overall ranking and being one of the favorites, a lot can happen in this discipline so it was a huge success for him to reach the finals.
We did not know that Andre Myhrer was not satisfied with his bronze medal from Vancouver, but he proved that hard work and persistence pays off. He surprised us all with the big win in Pyeongchang, making the Swedish Ski Federation and his home country very happy. “Simply amazing. I have been dreaming of this since I was a young ski racer. Now I have a gold medal!“
Whats up next?
For the ladies, alpine racers next stop will be in Crans-Montana, Switzerland where a Super G will be held on March 3rd followed by an Alpine Combined Event on the fourth. One week later a Giant Slalom and a Slalom will be raced in Ofterschwang, Germany.
For the men, Kranjska Gora is preparing for a Giant Slalom and a Slalom on the weekend, while the tour will continue with the traditional Super G and Downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway.
On March 12th to 18th, the World Cup Finals will be held in Are, Sweden for both men and women and will mark the end of a busy but, so far, very successful season.