Saturday, February 24, 2018

Switzerland Claims Gold in First Mixed Alpine Team Event

The alpine team event made its Olympic debut with all anticipated excitement and fanfare. The top 16 teams in the world faced off in the head-to-head, dual-paneled format as two men and two ladies from each nation battled against one another to the finish line.
After the semifinal heats sorted out the big and small finals, the top-two seeded teams, Austria and Switzerland, faced off against each other for the gold and silver medals while fourth-seed Norway took on sixth-seed France in the battle for bronze.
The bronze medal matchup ran first as Norway and France skied to a tie with two winning runs apiece, the Norwegian men taking their runs and the French women winning theirs. But in the tie-break based on the combination of the single fastest male and female times from each country, Norway overtook France by 0.12 seconds. The Scandinavian nation claimed its seventh alpine skiing medal of the Games with bronze.
The big final was not without the intensity of its own. Austria took an early lead in the opening leg before Switzerland countered at the midway. Wendy Holdener narrowly edged out Katharina Gallhuber in the third leg by 0.10 seconds to put Switzerland up 2-1. In the final matchup of the big final, Marco Schwartz of Austria faced Daniel Yule of Switzerland. Though Schwartz took an early lead on course, he struggled during his run and ultimately recorded a DNF. Yule skied past him and then across the finish line to give his Swiss team gold in the inaugural Olympic Winter Games alpine team event.
"We had a cool team, the spirit was really there. We knew we had a good chance of a medal and we went for it", Holdener told reporters. "For me, it was really nice after a silver and bronze here, now I have one of every color. A really special three weeks for me".
"Amazing, it wasn't easy for me at these Olympics. Now with this event it's unbelievable it's so nice," said the fourth member of the Swiss team, Denise Feierabend. "Most of the time we are for ourselves that's why it's really special to compete as a team."
The alpine team event concluded the alpine skiing program for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.

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