Friday, February 10, 2017

Swiss Ladies’ Team Shine in St. Moritz Alpine Combined

The Swiss ladies’ team continued to shine at the 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz as Wendy Holdener and Michelle Gisin took home the gold and silver medals on today’s alpine combined.. Austria’s Michaela Kirchgasser earned the bronze medal.It was the third medal for the Swiss women in just the first two events of these World Championships. For both Holdener and Gisin, it was their first career World Championship medals. Kirchgasser now has one silver and two bronze World Championship medals in her collection.
"It's a dream", said Holdener. "I didn't think my slalom run would be enough to hold on for the gold when I came down. But after Michelle skied down, I knew I had a medal and then I watched as the last few had to start. It's still unbelievable for me".
This is Holdener’s fourth World Championships and first podium. Holdener appeared to be overjoyed to share the podium with her teammate. The pair could barely stop hugging and smiling.
St. Moritz is Gisin’s third World Championships and the alpine combined is her first ever World Championship medal. She has only podiumed in one World Cup, the 2016 alpine combined in Val d’Isere, France.
"There were doubts, there were a lot of nerves; I didn’t sleep a lot last night", Gisin said. "I woke up at five and tried to stay calm, but it was so difficult. Now it’s done, and I haven’t realized it yet, and it’s just amazing to have a double podium with Wendy. Could it get any better and more amazing in front of the home crowd? I don’t think so. We were on the podium together a long, long time ago at a national race for kids; I remember meeting Wendy there for the first time, we’ve been through a lot since then".
St. Moritz marks Kirchgasser’s sixth World Championships, and this result is a repeat of her performance in the alpine combined at the Vail/Beaver Creek World Championships in 2015.
"It’s crazy", the Austrian said. "I mean after the downhill, I knew it would be really challenging, and then, I just made the mistake at the third and fourth gate and I was like ‘I have to push now".
Despite the huge medal success, the Swiss suffered a major blow today when Lara Gut was injured during warm-up between the two runs. Gut, who already earned a bronze medal in the super-G here in St. Moritz, was flown to Chur for further evaluation. She has been diagnosed with a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament and a meniscus lesion.

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