Ted Ligety suffers DNF on last slalom run; Austria’s Mario Matt wins
Giant slalom winner Ted Ligety of the U.S. (pictured) was unable to come up with a second medal at the Sochi Olympics.
Ligety was one of multiple big names that failed to finish the second run of today’s men’s slalom as the world’s best found the Rosa Khutor course especially problematic.
The American had finished sixth after the first run at just .11 of a second off the bronze medal position.
With Ligety’s DNF, the U.S. Alpine skiing squad will end their Sochi Olympics with five medals: The golds from Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin in women’s slalom, the silver and bronze in super-G from Andrew Weibrecht and Bode Miller respectively, and the bronze from Julia Mancuso in the super combined.
Afterwards, Ligety told NBCOlympics.com’s Alan Abrahamson that he wasn’t too upset over the outcome:
Austria’s Mario Matt, who’s won two world titles but did not qualify to compete four years ago in Vancouver, won the gold with a second run that helped him knock off countryman Marcel Hirscher by .28 of a second on two-run aggregate time.
Matt, who will turn 35 in April, is now the oldest Olympic champion ever in Alpine skiing. He’s taken that distinction from Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt, who won the 2006 men’s super-G at 34 years, 170 days.
Prior to Matt’s breakthrough today, the Olympics had not been kind to him. He didn’t compete at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games either due to injury, and while he made the 2006 Torino Games, he finished 34th in the combined and skied out of his first run in the slalom.
Poor performances kept him out of Vancouver, but he’s come back in recent years. He claimed bronze in the slalom at the 2013 worlds, and became the oldest to win a World Cup slalom event last December.
Hirscher, the reigning world champion in the slalom, now has his first Olympic medal after two near-misses in Vancouver (fourth, giant slalom; fifth, slalom) and an earlier one in these Sochi Games (fifth in GS).
Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen, 19 years and 235 days old, won the bronze to become the youngest-ever men’s medalist in Olympic Alpine skiing.
ALPINE SKIING - MEN’S SLALOM
1. Mario Matt (AUT), 1:41.84
2. Marcel Hirscher (AUT), 1:42.12
3. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR), 1:42:67