Twenty-six years after his father won silver in the Olympic Super G Matthias Mayer produced the run of his life to win the Gold medal in the 2014 Winter Olympic Downhill. 23-year-old Mayer, whose previous best on the Downhill World Cup had been 5th in Bormio this season, just edged out Christof Innerhofer and Kjetil Jansrud for the medals.
"This is unbelievable. I thought maybe in a few years I could dream of this sort of achievement," said Mayer. "I woke up this morning and I knew that I could win this race. I was smiling the whole day, all throughout the inspection. It was my day today," he added.
Mayer lost time at the top to the other racers and then won the race through the middle section. At one stage Innerhofer lead the Austrian by 0.68 seconds before fading on the lower stage into the finish.
The race was one of the most exciting in history as each racer put everything into their run. First Janka took the lead; Kjetil Jansrud then posted a faster time before Mayer set the mark that would take Gold. "It's almost unreal being one year away from an ACL injury, and get to hold a medal in my hand," a delighted Jansrud said.
It was billed as a contest between Bode Miller, who had won two training runs, and Aksel Lund Svindal. Miller was the first of the two down and while he tore into the course in his unique style, he came undone near the bottom. Miller had lead at the first split comfortably.
"I was looking to win and I thought I had a good chance at it and I was well prepared, so it's tough when things don't go your way," said Miller. "It was one of those days, I skied pretty well and was pretty aggressive and took a lot of risks. I made a couple of small mistakes but not the sort of mistakes that cost you a lot of time. The visibility has changed a ton since the training runs. We had better conditions then, and now with the humidity the snow changed a lot. That was the biggest factor. The middle and bottom slowed down so much from the beginning of the race until when I went that I think you would have had to do something magical to have won."
Svindal was 18th of the racers down and despite looking smooth, he never really got the speed and while he came in third, Innerhofer pushed him down to fourth. “I still have a chance in the Super G,” he reflected.
“This is the biggest thing that you can achieve in my sport,” Olympic Champion Mayer explained after the race.
Olympic Champion: Matthias Mayer (AUT)
Silver Medal: Christof Innerhofer (ITA)
Bronze Medal: Kjetil Jansrud (NOR)
4. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR)
8. Bode Miller (USA)
13. Beat Feuz (SUI)
17. Georg Streitberger (AUT)
19. Ben Thomsen (CAN)
23. Alexander Glebov (RUS)
26. Guillermo Fayed (FRA)