Friday, December 18, 2015

Aksel Lund Svindal Tops a Norwegians Sweep Super G

Aksel Lund Svindal wins the Val Gardena super G for the fourth time in his career and fourth victory this season with a winning time of 1:28.12 seconds. Following Svindal in second and third, respectively, were two of his countrymen, Kjetil Jansrud and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, marking the third ever Norwegian World Cup podium sweep and first ever in super G.
Starting with bib four, Kilde was poised for a breakout result on a course set by Norwegian team coach Franz Gamper after turing heads with impressive attack-from-the-back performances in Lake Louise and Beaver Creek. With the Golden Earring’s 1973 hit “Radar Love” blaring over the finish line speakers as he kicked out of the starting gate, Kilde wasn’t going to let an opportunity like this slip through his fingers.
Crossing the finish with a healthy lead of just under one full second, Kilde held on as skier after skier failed to match his dominant performance, especially on the top interval of the course. That is until Svindal, wearing bib 21, pushed out of the start.
In typical Svindal style, this time with AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” providing the soundtrack, he made the course look effortless, crossing the line 0.44 seconds ahead of Kilde.
Immediately following Svindal was Jansrud, who, with a mistake that may have cost him the victory as Steppenwolf’s rock anthem “Born to be Wild” filled the air, crossed the line 0.34 seconds back, giving the Norwegians their first-ever super G podium trifecta.
Although getting beat out by his teammate may be a slight disappointment, for Jansrud there was plenty to smile about as this result indicates that he is back to form following some inconsistent results to start the season.
"You can never be unhappy with a second place, for sure. I’m very happy", Jansrud told reporters in the finish. "It feels sort of impossible to beat Aksel these days, but that was the position I was in last year. You get the snowball rolling and it just keeps on rolling, hats off to him. I can’t be unhappy on a day like this. With my mistake, which means I would have been very close to Aksel, I’m in the position where I want to be. There are going to be more chances for me. And for Norway, it’s the best day we’ve ever had in super G and the speed disciplines".
Kilde’s career day was made all the more sweeter by being able to share the podium with not only his countrymen, but also his mentors.
"I’ve been working hard with both of the guys through the whole training period and I feel really proud to be on the podium with them today, my first podium, and sharing it with the two best skiers in the world is amazing", Kilde said in the finish. "It’s such a perfect day. It’s a day we are never going to forget, we just have to take it with us to the next races coming up and we’ll see how it goes".
All three Norwegians were asked what the secret to their success was today, with Jansrud summing it up in simple terms, providing a valuable lesson for young ski racers everywhere.
"I think the biggest secret in sports is working hard, and that’s why it’s a secret", he explained. "There is nothing special we do, we work hard, train a lot, and try to push each other in training and take small steps to get better every day. There’s always a bit of talent in it, too. Aleksander has shown himself to be a very eager boy, always in the background trying to gain some experience and to learn from Aksel. He’s a smart kid, then it’s just a matter of time before you’re on the podium. It’s as easy as that".

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