Sunday, February 13, 2011

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 7: Golden Goergl Took Gold at the Downhill

Today Elisabeth Goergl won her second gold medal in the Women’s Downhill. Following last Tuesday’s Super- G victory, which was the first gold medal of her long, successful ski racing career, and with the official 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships song featuring her singing ("You’re the hero; Between Heaven and Hell") again blaring on the loud speakers, the 29-year-old Austrian was the 16th racer down the softened Kandahar course in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. She built speed from top to bottom and when she crossed the finish line nearly a second ahead of then-leader Lara Gut, she stared for several seconds at the scoreboard, with her hands out in disbelief. "I couldn’t believe it because I had a very attacking line and in some parts I was really low and almost didn’t make it to the next gate. But I kept the speed, which was good … and obviously this was the fastest line. I just didn’t have a mistake today. It’s amazing", Goergl said.
Lindsey Vonn managed to fight through her ailments – a concussion sustained in a training crash about 10 days ago – and pulled through for the silver medal, finishing 0.44 seconds behind Goergl. "I’m extremely happy with the silver medal today", Vonn said. "It’s been a hard road, I’ve been trying to fight through this injury. It’s hasn’t been easy, but I think I skied more like myself today. It still isn’t perfect, but it was good enough for a silver. I’ve been doing everything I can to get ready for today. I was able to focus pretty clearly for most of the way. I know my skiing is there. I really have to say that Lizzie Goergl skied incredibly well today, also in the super-combined downhill and super G. she has just had an amazing world championships and I’m really happy for her. Second place feels like gold to me".
Maria Riesch, also not at her best after coming down with a flu that kept her from doing the Downhill training runs last week and in bed for two days, also battled against the circumstances and brought the volume from her local crowd in Garmisch to a roar when she landed her second bronze medal of the week, finishing 0.60 seconds off of the winning time. "Of course a flu is not going away from one day to the other", said Riesch, coughing, but still smiling big. "But when you start at a world championships and win a medal, you shouldn’t talk to much about how bad you’re feeling. All the pressure is gone after the development of the last days. I didn’t really calculate this medal in the Downhill. I [will] try to get healthy quickly and focus and concentrate on the tech events".

From February 7th to February 20th 2011 Garmisch-Partenkirchen will again be center of the Ski World during the 41st FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the former twin cities "under the Zugspitze", is one of the most famous winter sport resorts of the whole alpine region. Olympic Winter Games in 1936, Arlberg Kandahar races since 1954, FIS Ski World Cups since 1970 , FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1978 and FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2009 the list of events shows why Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also called the cradle of ski racing in Germany. 525 athletes -208 ladies and 317 men- from 69 nations, more than any from the last five world alpine ski championships, will be competing for medals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011. The event also welcomes 1,170 media representatives, a record for a World Alpine Ski Championship.
33 FIS World Championships medals will be awarded as the competition schedule includes five Ladies' and five Men's events as well as the co-ed nations' team event. The nations' team event will be staged for the third time since its introduction in Bormio (ITA) in 2005 and successful second edition in Are (SWE) in 2007 after inclement weather forced cancellation in Val d’Isére (FRA) in 2009. For the first time, however, the event will be carried out in the Parallel Giant Slalom format.

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