Medals update: Michelle Gisin goes back-to-back gold in the women's Alpine combined

Michelle Gisin of Switzerland defended the gold medal she won at PyeongChang 2018 in the women’s Alpine skiing combined event here in Yanqing -- and she was followed onto the podium by teammate Wendy Holdener (silver) and Italian Federica Brignone (bronze). 

By Jonah Fontela
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

Michelle Gisin of Switzerland found the best all-around form on the day in the women’s Alpine skiing combined event, overcoming a slow downhill run to make up time in the slalom portion and claim her second-straight Olympic gold medal in the event.

The Swiss racer adds the repeat gold to the bronze medal she already won here in Beijing in the women’s Super-G.

"Four years ago I did it with my downhill and this time I did it with my slalom," said Gisin, who fought back from deep in the field after a poor run in the downhill section. "I didn't think I could put a slalom run together like this after these three weeks, it was so intense.

"I'm just so glad I did this slalom run -- I've no idea where that came from," added Gisin, who skipped the individual downhill event to focus on this Alpine combined.

Fellow Swiss skier Wendy Holdener (silver) made a step-up from the bronze she won in the PyeongChang 2018 combined event -- and Federica Brignone finished with the bronze (a first-ever women's Olympic Alpine combined medal for an Italian).

Gisin, sitting twelfth after the downhill section, dominated the gates in the slalom portion -- which was contested under slate-grey skies and falling snow. She finished with a combined time of 2:25.67 to seal her second straight Olympic gold in the event.

Holdener, who finished in second with a time of 2:26.72, also used her prowess in the slalom portion to haul herself back from an 11th-place finish in the downhill. She adds the day's prize to the bronze she won in the women's slalom here in Beijing.

Asked what the silver means to her, an ecstatic Holdener responded: "It means I'm one of the best Alpine combined ladies -- the girl who can ski all disciplines. It's amazing."

Brignone, who took the bronze with a combined time of 2:27.52, had finished eighth after the earlier downhill section -- as all three of the podium placers earned their medals in the slalom portion of the contest.

"For sure there were not many racers today, but these two girls [Gisin and Holdener] were skiing great in slalom. I had no chance with them, and I had not too much distance from downhill to try for a better medal," said Brignone after the event which saw 11 of the skiers fail to finish. "I was lucky that [Mikaela] Shiffrin skied out. But this is skiing, this is sports.

"I just tried to ski my best but without taking too many risks," added Brignone, who also won a silver in the women’s giant slalom at these Beijing Games.

It was a day that saw Team USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin suffer once again on the slalom course.

After finishing a respectable fifth in the downhill section of the race – riding on a pair of skis borrowed from silver medal winner in the individual downhill Sofia Goggia – the two-time American gold medal-winner skied out after looking to have regained her rhythm in the early gates.

"I haven't seen the video but I think that I actually had a really good start and got into my tempo, my rhythm, quite well," Shiffrin said. "I had good speed and I was moving the right way and I got just too stacked up in the double hairpin."

It was the third time at these Games that Shiffrin skied out of a slalom run. She failed to finish in her favourite events (slalom and giant slalom) before taking 18th in her first-ever attempt at an Olympic individual downhill.

The combined event closes out the women’s individual Alpine skiing events here at Beijing 2022.

Women’s Alpine combined results

  • 1 - Michelle Gisin (SUI) 2:25.67
  • 2 - Wendy Holdener (SUI) 2:26.72
  • 3 - Federica Brignone (ITA) 2:27.52

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