He looked like he was having a ball as he barreled down the mountain in Whistler. Aksel Lund Svindal, known for being sociable and sporty, was also in supreme command as he skied at stunningly high speeds to win the Men’s Super-G at the Winter Olympics in Whistler.
Smiling skier. Close-up photos could show that he was grinning and seemed to be having a great time on the steep and icy course. Perhaps he knew he’d swept past arch-rival Bode Miller of the US and Miller’s fellow American, Andrew Weibrecht, who’d been in second place until Svindal knocked him down to third.
Didier Cuche of Switzerland had been favoured in the Super Giant Slalom race, but he ended up in 10th place. He graciously called Svindal’s performance “amazing,” jokingly telling Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that he’d been “so glad” Norway’s earlier Super-G winner Kjetil André Aamodt had retired from the sport. “But then Norway gives us Aksel!” he said.
Aamodt was at the finish line after Svindal swooped over it, working in his new role as a commentator for NRK. Aamodt won the Super-G at the last Olympics in Torino and at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, as well as clinching it way back in 1992, at the Olympics in Albertville.
He could thus welcome Svindal to the club, and raved about Svindal’s style, strength and time. Svindal won the race with a time of 1:30.34, just ahead of Miller’s 1:30.62 and Weibrecht’s 1:30.65.
Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
(Written February 19, 2010)
TOP PICTURE: Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal competes in the Men’s Super G during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at Whistler Creekside in Whistler, Canada on February 19, 2010. Svindal took gold with a time of 1:30.34. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom
BOTTOM PICTURE: Svindal holds his gold medal during the medal ceremony for the men’s alpine skiing super-G competition at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, in Whistler, British Columbia February 19, 2010. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay (CANADA)