The Swiss skier just missed out on a gold medal in the Olympic Slalom in Yongpyong/ PyeongChang. During this technical race, the competition was stiff. Wearing the number 1 bib, the 24-year-old from Schwyz had the best time in the first round. After a wild final, she lost to the queen of the day, Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter. In the end, just 0.05 seconds deprived her of the gold. The bronze went to the surprising Austrian Katharina Gallhuber (+ 0.32) who managed the best time in the 2nd run, and therefore moved up from 9th to 3rd place.
The overwhelming favourite, America’s Mikaela Shiffrin, had to make do with nothing more than a chocolate medal, as she was .08 seconds away from a podium place. Thanks to a second run that showed more flair than her first in this Olympic Slalom event, Denise Feierabend leapt ten places to finally finish 14th. Michelle Gisin ended up in 16th position.
After a fantastic first run, Wendy found herself under extraordinary pressure. In the finish area, she looked delighted, and showed no sign of being annoyed about missing the gold medal by so little. « Of course it’s a shame to miss an Olympic win by 0.05 seconds, but my aim was a medal, and I succeeded in winning one. It’s so wonderful.», said Wendy. « As far as I’m concerned, the second run didn’t go as well as it could have done, the wind also played a part. I struggled.», she declared. With a nod in the direction of Switzerland, she added « At least my fans won’t regret getting up so early ! ».
It’s worth noting, going back in time, that the new Swiss Olympic slalom medallist, crowned World Champion in Alpine Combined and World Vice-Champion in Slalom in 2017 in St. Moritz, had already shown her colours and launched her career in Crans-Montana. In fact, at the Junior World Championships which took place in 2011, Wendy took gold in the Alpine Combined, silver in the Downhill and bronze in the Giant Slalom.
The Organisation Committee of the World Cup races on 3 and 4 March in Crans-Montana can’t wait to see Wendy Holdener again, as well as the Swiss team and all the other athletes, just a week after the closing ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Last year, after the St. Moritz World Championships, Wendy returned to the 2017 World Cup races with two medals under her belt (gold in the Alpine Combined and silver in the Slalom). This time, she already has a silver in the Slalom. Next, on Friday 23 February, Wendy Holdener will be one of the overall favourites for the Olympic Alpine Combined. So, who knows… !
A few tips for World Cup race spectators in Crans-Montana :
- « Grandstand » ticket sales online : /fr/spectateurs/billets-18/
- ‘Passeport valaisan’ holders enjoy a special discount on day tickets : buy one « Grandstand » ticket, receive another « Grandstand » ticket for free. Details at : /fr/spectateurs/billets-18
- /On both race days, we strongly recommend you use the free public transport (bus and funicular) from Sierre.