There’s no doubt that Austria’s Marcel Hirscher is something special. It’s hard to believe that with everything Hirscher has accomplished in his career before the Olympics started, the Austrian had no Olympic gold medals to his name. Now, he has two.

It was another near-perfect day for ski racing for the men’s giant slalom at the Yongpyong Alpine Center with blue skies, sunshine, and Colorado-like hero snow on course. Hirscher took the win with authority, besting Norwegian rival Henrik Kristoffersen by 1.27 seconds in second and Frenchman Alexis Pinturault by 1.31 seconds in third. Hirscher’s victory made him the first Austrian since Benjamin Raich at Torino 2006 to win two gold medals in one Olympics.

Winning for Hirscher this season has become almost automatic, with otherworldly skiing and huge winning margins the norm. In most races he is a part of, the real race is for second place.

“Wow,” Hirscher shared after the race. “It was not so easy to be the absolute favorite in this discipline, then sitting up there as the leader from the first run knowing that Henrik ripped it. I had no choice, I knew I have to give 100% and I have to go into this battle.”

Hirscher now has two Olympic golds to his name. Image Credit: GEPA Pictures/Christian Walgram

Dealing with Olympic pressure can be crippling for some athletes, especially ones that have expectations as high as an athlete like Hirscher or American Mikaela Shiffrin. Shiffrin delivered one gold and slipped to fourth going for her second. Hirscher, on the other hand, looked cool as a cucumber in both the alpine combined and the GS on Sunday.

“Mentally, it is nothing different between a World Cup race,” he explained. “If you’re fighting for the overall World Cup title, in each race there’s an end game. So that means no room for any mistakes, no room for did-not-finish results. So I’m kind of used to being mentally strong. I am happy, but at the moment, I’m pumped!”

Kristoffersen was able to shake off a first run where he, in the words of his father, “skied like a junior,” and leapfrogged from a pedestrian 10th place after the first run to a silver medal thanks to the fastest second run time and some determined skiing on the steep pitch approaching the finish where other racers found themselves backing off.

“I was disappointed after the first run,” he said. “It’s no big secret. But great second run, so I’m very happy. It was a little disappointing that I didn’t do better in the first run so I could kind of give Marcel a little bit of a fight because at the moment, it’s not a fight. He’s just beating by everybody by a lot. Today I won the silver medal. I didn’t lose the gold today because the gold was partly already a given before the first run so I’m really happy.”

France’s Pinturault also set a record of his own in the GS. Pinturault is now only the third Frenchman to win multiple Olympic medals in a single event. Pinturault was also the bronze medalist in the GS at Sochi 2014.

“I’m really, really happy about what I made and very proud to share this podium with Henrik and Marcel,” said Pinturault. “I think it was a really great fight. Marcel was for sure the leader today. He was the only one. Then behind him, we made a really big fight with Henrik and Zan (Kranjec) to be on the podium all together. It’s a dream that is coming true. You’re always coming to the Olympics to get something. Of course, you are dreaming about the gold but gold is not always easy to get.”

Ryan Cochran-Siegle led the way for the Americans in 11th. Image Credit: HEPA Pictures/Christian Walgram

Fastest American honors went to Vermonter Ryan Cochran-Siegle who blitzed the second run, setting the third-fastest time and jumping up 10 places in the standings to finish in 11th place. The 25-year-old’s mother, Sapporo 1972 slalom gold medalist Barbara Ann Cochran, also gave him a little pre-Games advice that he took to heart before the second run.

“I’m excited,” he said in the finish. “I definitely turned out a really god run so I can be confident about that. Coming down with the green light was something special that’s never happened to me before so I’m just thrilled right now. My mom said to take in the moment. I was just trying to focus on my best performance, just trying to ski my best and thinking about that and visualizing that in the start.”

Defending GS gold medalist Ted Ligety finished a disappointing 15th in what will likely be his last Olympic appearance. Tommy Ford finished in 20th and Tim Jitloff did not finish his first run.

The men will now race slalom on Feb. 22.


Top 10

  1. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  2. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  3. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) – Head/Head/Head
  4. Zan Kranjec (SLO) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  5. Thomas Fanara (FRA) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  6. Victor Muffat-Jeandet (FRA) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
  7. Mathieu Faivre (FRA) – Head/Head/Head
  8. Leif Christian Nestvold-Haugen (NOR) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  9. Loic Meillard (SUI) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  10. Matts Olsson (SWE) – Head/Head/Head

Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points
 1  5  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel 1989 AUT  1:08.27  1:09.77  2:18.04  0.00
 2  7  422304 KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik 1994 NOR  1:09.58  1:09.73  2:19.31  +1.27  9.02
 3  1  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis 1991 FRA  1:08.90  1:10.45  2:19.35  +1.31  9.30
 4  12  561244 KRANJEC Zan 1992 SLO  1:09.52  1:10.25  2:19.77  +1.73  12.28
 5  11  191750 FANARA Thomas 1981 FRA  1:09.22  1:10.61  2:19.83  +1.79  12.71
 6  10  193967 MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor 1989 FRA  1:09.44  1:10.41  2:19.85  +1.81  12.85
 7  3  194495 FAIVRE Mathieu 1992 FRA  1:09.06  1:10.93  2:19.99  +1.95  13.84
 8  13  421669 NESTVOLD-HAUGEN Leif Kristian 1987 NOR  1:08.93  1:11.30  2:20.23  +2.19  15.55
 9  17  512182 MEILLARD Loic 1996 SUI  1:09.77  1:10.68  2:20.45  +2.41  17.11
 10  2  501324 OLSSON Matts 1988 SWE  1:09.31  1:11.39  2:20.70  +2.66  18.88
 11  27  103729 READ Erik 1991 CAN  1:10.18  1:10.56  2:20.74  +2.70  19.17
 11  36  6530319 COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan 1992 USA  1:10.75  1:09.99  2:20.74  +2.70  19.17
 13  14  292491 MOELGG Manfred 1982 ITA  1:10.03  1:11.01  2:21.04  +3.00  21.30
 14  15  292967 EISATH Florian 1984 ITA  1:10.46  1:10.72  2:21.18  +3.14  22.29
 15  9  534562 LIGETY Ted 1984 USA  1:10.71  1:10.54  2:21.25  +3.21  22.79
 15  19  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino 1992 SUI  1:09.99  1:11.26  2:21.25  +3.21  22.79
 17  32  180666 TORSTI Samu 1991 FIN  1:10.93  1:10.44  2:21.37  +3.33  23.64
 18  28  103865 PHILP Trevor 1992 CAN  1:11.13  1:10.38  2:21.51  +3.47  24.63
 19  54  511983 AERNI Luca 1993 SUI  1:11.40  1:10.22  2:21.62  +3.58  25.42
 20  22  531799 FORD Tommy 1989 USA  1:11.43  1:10.20  2:21.63  +3.59  25.49
 21  42  561322 HADALIN Stefan 1995 SLO  1:11.53  1:10.13  2:21.66  +3.62  25.70
 22  30  202451 STRASSER Linus 1992 GER  1:11.54  1:10.13  2:21.67  +3.63  25.77
 23  21  501017 MYHRER Andre 1983 SWE  1:09.60  1:12.09  2:21.69  +3.65  25.91
 24  20  380335 ZUBCIC Filip 1993 CRO  1:10.95  1:10.89  2:21.84  +3.80  26.98
 25  33  700830 ZAMPA Adam 1990 SVK  1:11.40  1:10.46  2:21.86  +3.82  27.12
 26  24  202462 DOPFER Fritz 1987 GER  1:10.69  1:11.38  2:22.07  +4.03  28.61
 27  35  103676 BROWN Phil 1991 CAN  1:11.30  1:11.25  2:22.55  +4.51  32.02
 28  43  92720 POPOV Albert 1997 BUL  1:12.39  1:11.21  2:23.60  +5.56  39.47
 29  41  104531 CRAWFORD James 1997 CAN  1:11.74  1:12.38  2:24.12  +6.08  43.16
 30  47  303097 ISHII Tomoya 1989 JPN  1:12.43  1:12.35  2:24.78  +6.74  47.85
 31  63  151215 FOREJTEK Filip 1997 CZE  1:12.91  1:13.16  2:26.07  +8.03  57.01
 32  49  60261 MAES Sam 1998 BEL  1:13.29  1:12.91  2:26.20  +8.16  57.93
 33  40  40523 DEMSCHAR Dominic 1993 AUS  1:13.21  1:13.54  2:26.75  +8.71  61.84
 34  38  410365 BARWOOD Adam 1992 NZL  1:13.41  1:13.81  2:27.22  +9.18  65.17
 35  55  550054 ZVEJNIEKS Kristaps 1992 LAT  1:13.81  1:14.46  2:28.27  +10.23  72.63
 36  34  410364 FEASEY Willis 1992 NZL  1:14.48  1:13.80  2:28.28  +10.24  72.70
 37  57  380377 KOLEGA Samuel 1999 CRO  1:14.61  1:14.13  2:28.74  +10.70  75.96
 38  68  370022 JENOT Olivier 1988 MON  1:14.93  1:14.16  2:29.09  +11.05  78.45
 39  73  320391 KIM Dong Woo 1995 KOR  1:14.49  1:15.56  2:30.05  +12.01  85.26
 40  79  390044 LAINE Tormis 2000 EST  1:15.70  1:15.18  2:30.88  +12.84  91.16
 41  71  310426 VUKICEVIC Marko 1992 SRB  1:14.64  1:16.71  2:31.35  +13.31  94.49
 42  80  240139 KEKESI Marton 1995 HUN  1:16.64  1:15.22  2:31.86  +13.82  98.11
 43  70  54106 BREITFUSS KAMMERLANDER Simon 1992 BOL  1:16.27  1:15.98  2:32.25  +14.21  100.88
 44  62  380290 SAMSAL Dalibor 1985 HUN  1:16.09  1:16.79  2:32.88  +14.84  105.35
 45  77  310421 STEVOVIC Marko 1996 SRB  1:17.42  1:15.79  2:33.21  +15.17  107.70
 46  78  230651 ANTONIOU Ioannis 1995 GRE  1:17.38  1:15.92  2:33.30  +15.26  108.34
 47  90  800013 TOLA Erjon 1986 ALB  1:16.86  1:16.77  2:33.63  +15.59  110.68
 48  81  540026 DICKSON SOMMERS Rodolfo Roberto 1997 MEX  1:17.02  1:16.67  2:33.69  +15.65  111.11
 49  84  280034 BIRAN Itamar 1998 ISR  1:17.52  1:16.19  2:33.71  +15.67  111.25
 50  65  700868 FALAT Matej 1993 SVK  1:14.99  1:19.79  2:34.78  +16.74  118.84
 51  75  670037 ZAKURDAEV Igor 1987 KAZ  1:18.78  1:16.29  2:35.07  +17.03  120.90
 52  91  210040 TUKHTAEV Komiljon 1997 UZB  1:17.72  1:18.27  2:35.99  +17.95  127.43
 53  60  790025 LAMHAMEDI Adam 1995 MAR  1:18.50  1:17.54  2:36.04  +18.00  127.79
 54  88  660021 DANILOCHKIN Yuri 1991 BLR  1:19.45  1:17.44  2:36.89  +18.85  133.82
 55  82  460060 BARBU Alexandru 1987 ROU  1:19.74  1:17.40  2:37.14  +19.10  135.60
 56  96  942023 TAHIRI Albin 1989 KOS  1:19.49  1:17.98  2:37.47  +19.43  137.94
 57  98  690694 KOVBASNYUK Ivan 1993 UKR  1:20.41  1:17.26  2:37.67  +19.63  139.36
 58  89  260110 KIYADARBANDSARI Mohammad 1989 IRI  1:19.11  1:18.61  2:37.72  +19.68  139.72
 59  86  780023 DRUKAROV Andrej 1999 LTU  1:19.98  1:18.21  2:38.19  +20.15  143.05
 60  76  170151 DYRBYE NAESTED Casper 1996 DEN  1:20.33  1:18.01  2:38.34  +20.30  144.12
 61  97  959600 ABEDA Shannon 1996 ERI  1:19.86  1:20.01  2:39.87  +21.83  154.98
 62  95  360046 OSCH Matthieu 1999 LUX  1:21.45  1:18.94  2:40.39  +22.35  158.67
 63  92  770015 TIMOFEEV Evgeniy 1994 KGZ  1:20.90  1:20.13  2:41.03  +22.99  163.22
 64  83  310438 SALIHOVIC Eldar 1999 MNE  1:20.51  1:20.72  2:41.23  +23.19  164.63
 65  101  450030 MARIOTTI Alessandro 1998 SMR  1:21.66  1:21.21  2:42.87  +24.83  176.28
 66  99  194752 HANSE Arthur 1993 POR  1:22.43  1:21.52  2:43.95  +25.91  183.95
 67  93  520170 DENIZ Serdar 1997 TUR  1:23.45  1:20.78  2:44.23  +26.19  185.93
 68  108  6532104 WEBB Jeffrey 1998 MAS  1:23.83  1:23.84  2:47.67  +29.63  210.35
 69  102  120057 ZHANG Yangming 1994 CHN  1:25.73  1:22.95  2:48.68  +30.64  217.53
 70  104  610003 MILLER Asa 2000 PHI  1:27.52  1:22.43  2:49.95  +31.91  226.54
 71  103  340440 BEHLOK Allen 1998 LBN  1:26.70  1:25.43  2:52.13  +34.09  242.02
 72  106  820030 KARIM Muhammad 1995 PAK  1:27.53  1:26.51  2:54.04  +36.00  255.58
 73  105  140013 FLAHERTY Charles 2000 PUR  1:28.50  1:27.55  2:56.05  +38.01  269.85
 74  110  330016 KANG Song Il 1994 PRK  1:32.03  1:29.99  3:02.02  +43.98  312.23
 75  109  330014 CHOE Myong Gwang 1990 PRK  1:38.67  1:33.34  3:12.01  +53.97  383.15
Did not finish 1st run
 6  511896 MURISIER Justin 1992 SUI
 16  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR
 23  202597 SCHMID Alexander 1994 GER
 26  534959 JITLOFF Tim 1985 USA
 31  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR
 37  53889 HIRSCHBUEHL Christian 1990 AUT
 45  561310 HROBAT Miha 1995 SLO
 48  481730 KUZNETSOV Ivan 1996 RUS
 50  30266 GASTALDI Sebastiano 1991 ARG
 52  320266 JUNG Donghyun 1988 KOR
 53  150743 BERNDT Ondrej 1988 CZE
 56  151024 KOTZMANN Adam 1993 CZE
 59  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO
 61  250353 SNORRASON Sturla Snaer 1994 ISL
 64  151238 ZABYSTRAN Jan 1998 CZE
 67  80077 MACEDO Michel 1998 BRA
 72  680041 ABRAMASHVILI Iason 1988 GEO
 87  750088 RISTEVSKI Antonio 1989 MKD
 94  6292024 ZANON Nicola 1996 THA
 100  160097 LEFKARITIS Dinos 1995 CYP
 107  570019 WILSON Connor 1996 RSA
Disqualified 1st run
 4  54063 FELLER Manuel 1992 AUT
 8  990116 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca 1990 ITA
 44  40577 LAIDLAW Harry 1996 AUS
Did not start 1st run
 85  430633 JASICZEK Michal 1994 POL
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Sean Higgins
Senior Editor
- A Lake Tahoe native and University of Vermont graduate, Higgins was a member of the Catamounts' 2012 NCAA title winning squad and earned first team All-American status in 2013. Prior to coming to Ski Racing Media, he coached U14s for the Squaw Valley Ski Team.
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