BEIJING (AP) — What higher approach to put together for an Olympic downhill race than by watching Lindsey Vonn.
Swiss skier Corinne Suter checked out some outdated movies of the game’s most profitable downhiller earlier than her run on the Beijing Video games on Tuesday after which went out and received gold — making her the primary lady since Vonn in 2010 to carry the Olympic and world championship titles within the sport’s quickest and most harmful self-discipline on the similar time.
“She’s my largest idol,” Suter stated, including that she watches outdated runs from Vonn “on a regular basis.” When Suter raced in Val d’Isere, France, she pulled up Vonn’s runs on the French resort. For this race, she considered a few of Vonn’s coaching runs.
“I identical to how she skis along with her physique and the way aggressive she’s doing the turns,” Suter stated of Vonn, the 2010 Olympic champion whose 43 World Cup downhills are essentially the most ever by a person or lady. “I simply watch generally the turns.”
Three years in the past, Suter may look at Vonn up shut when she took silver on this planet championship downhill in Are, Sweden, whereas Vonn took bronze in the final race of her career.
Like Vonn, Suter is powerfully constructed and he or she dealt with the high-speed activates a course referred to as The Rock higher than anybody else to beat defending champion Sofia Goggia by 0.16 seconds.
Goggia skied two spots earlier than Suter and when she got here down into the lead, it meant that three Italians had been occupying the rostrum positions: Goggia, eventual bronze medalist Nadia Delago and Elena Curtoni, who ultimately completed fifth.
Simply earlier than Suter’s run, the cameras flashed to Italian coach Michael “A lot” Mair, who began crossing his arms as if to say, “Cease the race now!”
Suter was sooner than Goggia via the primary three checkpoints however trailed the Italian by 0.18 seconds on the closing verify earlier than making time up via the flatter canyon part into the ending leap.
And whereas the Italians nonetheless celebrated an enormous day — particularly contemplating that Goggia injured her left knee and leg in a crash final month — it was the Swiss staff celebrating the largest honors once more.
Following victories from Beat Feuz within the males’s downhill, Lara Gut-Behrami in super-G and Marco Odermatt in large slalom, Switzerland grew to become the primary nation with 4 completely different Alpine skiers to win particular person gold medals on the similar Olympics.
“We’re all athletes who’ve received rather a lot over the past seasons,” stated Intestine-Behrami, who completed sixteenth. “I don’t assume it’s something (stunning). … The extent is so excessive that there’s a battle simply to qualify.”
Joana Haehlen, one other Swiss skier, completed sixth after main the ultimate coaching session a day earlier to safe one of many 4 beginning spots on the staff.
“I had no expectation in any respect, as a result of I didn’t even know if I may race or not,” Haehlen stated. “It’s loopy. It’s an honor to be within the staff.”
The downhill course on the Yanqing Nationwide Alpine Snowboarding Heart was designed by 1972 Olympic downhill champion Bernhard Russi, who’s from — the place else? — Switzerland.
Has the influence of Russi, who works for the Switzerland-based Worldwide Ski Federation, performed a job within the Swiss staff’s success in China?
“I don’t assume so,” Haehlen stated. However then she added: “I believe the Swiss are actually good when it’s technical. For us on the velocity facet, I believe that helped.”
Suter injured each of her knees in a coaching crash in September, was on crutches for a month and didn’t totally regain her type till she received the ultimate World Cup downhill earlier than the Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
The final time Switzerland swept gold within the males’s and ladies’s downhills on the Olympics was 50 years in the past when Marie-Theres Nadig took the ladies’s title to go along with Russi’s victory. This time, there was additionally a Swiss sweep of the ladies’s velocity occasions.
The Swiss girls have additionally received three bronze medals in Beijing: Intestine-Behrami in large slalom, Wendy Holdener in slalom and Michelle Gisin in super-G.
“Everyone seems to be tremendous quick,” Suter stated, “and we are able to push one another to the restrict.”