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Bryce Bennett makes another podium in resurgence for U.S. downhill

Bryce Bennett

VAL GARDENA, ITALY - DECEMBER 15: Bryce Bennett of Team United States in action during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men’s Super G on December 15, 2023 in Val Gardena, Italy. (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

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American Bryce Bennett returned to the podium Saturday, two days after earning his first Alpine skiing World Cup victory in two years.

Bennett placed third in a downhill in Val Gardena, Italy, six tenths behind Italian winner Dominik Paris and 16 hundredths behind runner-up Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway.

“Today felt better than on Thursday,” said Bennett, who won from bib 34, then was the 18th starter Saturday. “It’s a lot to deal with, and I’ve never been in that position where you ski well in a race, and then you have another opportunity the same week. So to try and get past that mentally and have a good run is, like, a huge win for me.”

Bennett, 31, became the first U.S. man to make multiple World Cup downhill podiums in one season since Steven Nyman in 2015-16. And Bennett did it in the first two downhills of the season.

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Bennett came into Val Gardena with a best World Cup finish of seventh in the two years since his last win, which was also in Val Gardena.

He called the 2022-23 season “a complete disaster” after placing 35th in the downhill standings.

In two Olympics, his best finish was 16th.

Nyman and fellow World Cup winner Travis Ganong both retired after last season, leaving Bennett as the lone active American man who had won a World Cup downhill.

Paris, 34, earned his first World Cup win since March 2022 and his 18th career downhill victory, tying retired Austrian Stephan Eberharter for third on the career men’s list. The only men with more were Austrian Franz Klammer (25) and Swiss Peter Müller (19).

The men’s Alpine World Cup continues with giant slaloms on Sunday and Monday in Alta Badia, Italy.