Olympics Blog

News about the Summer and Winter Games

« Previous Post | Olympics Blog Home | Next Post »

More news, notes and tidbits from the women's downhill

February 17, 2010 |  5:21 pm

With Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso going gold-silver in Wednesday's downhill, the United States Alpine team has already surpassed the two medals it won at the 2006 Turin Games.

The U.S. already has three medals after just two events, with Bode Miller picking up bronze in Monday's men's downhill.

Sweden's Anja Paerson is OK. Paerson, one of the top racers in the world and a former Olympic champion, took a nasty spill at the end of her Wednesday run. Paerson was in position to take the silver from Mancuso before she fell off a jump and went face-first toward the finish line.

"She's OK," Ulf Emilsson, her coach, said. "If you see the crash, it's amazing that she can actually walk. She is happy to have survived the crash as well as she did."

Emilsson said he thinks Paerson will be able to compete in future Olympic events.

The worst performance of the day was turned in by Germany's Maria Riesch, who was expected to be a medal contender. She is battling Vonn this year for the World Cup overall title, but finished a distant eighth in Wednesday's downhill, more than two seconds off Vonn's pace.

"I have to be honest," Riesch said. "I screwed it up. Yes, I am a little angry. Tomorrow I will try to do better."

Was the women's downhill course too dangerous?

While there were several crashes, the top racers found Franz's Run to be one of the better courses they have raced.

"It's a really challenging and cool course," bronze medalist Elisabeth Goergl of Austria said. "I like this kind of course. It's technical and rough to ski, and now I know why we train so much in the summer, so we can ski this kind of course."

Chemmy Alcott of Great Britain called it "the perfect women's Olympic course."

Canada's Emily Brydon, who finished 16th, had a different opinion: "I was not skiing the course -- the course was skiing me."

-- Chris Dufresne, in Whistler, Canada