In the discipline that decides the best men's all-round Alpine skier, the combined event, it was Johannes Strolz who came out on top at the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre on Thursday (10 February). The Austrian added to the family trophy cabinet winning the gold medal in the two-run speed and technical event, 34 years after his father Hubert did the same.
The slalom specialist managed to make up 0.75 seconds on the top skier after the first leg, the downhill specialist Norwegian, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde who claimed silver. James 'Jack' Crawford dropped one place after the first run to win bronze, Canada's first-ever Alpine combined medal.
An emotional Strolz said after the race: "When I think about it, all the pictures and the gold medal of my father, it's hard for me not to cry. It's just a dream coming true.
"It means the world to me because I was not on the team any more last summer, and made it back into the team, got the full support again.
"I'm so thankful for the support of so many people. First of all I have to thank my whole family. They always believed in me, and now it's a dream coming true, making the same gold medal like my father did.
"Finally all the sacrifices and the hard work paid off. I think I'm a good example of never giving up. If you believe in yourself you have to take your chance and keep going."
Kilde, who has won bronze in the super-G but was a disappointing fifth in the downhill at Beijing 2022, said of the race he wasn't even sure he was going to take part in: "It was quite amazing. I haven't skied slalom in two years. I just had a good feeling when I was skiing. I went for it, just pointed the skis and tried to stay in balance. When you have good skis and good equipment then it runs easier.
"It's huge. What an Olympic Games it has been. Of course some emotions on the way, but still quite amazing."
Other title contenders, Marco Schwarz of Austria and Italy’s Christoph Innerhoffer, finished fifth and 10th, respectively, with Alexis Pinturault of France going for an all-or-nothing second run but coming away with the latter after making an error.
A disappointed Schwarz said of his race: "It's pretty tough right now. The whole season is pretty bad for me. Of course now there are the Olympics, new races, new chances, but today was tough.
On his compatriot's win, Schwarz said: "Hats off to Strolzy. Really really good guy, I'm really happy that I'm with him in the team. He's preparing his skis by his own, so congrats to him."
The next Alpine skiing event is the women’s super-G on Friday 11 February. See link here for full schedule.