The opening alpine event of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games is set to go off today. Here’s what to look out for:
Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud can both win a medal in a record fourth alpine skiing discipline when the men’s alpine combined is held on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at Jeongseon Alpine Center. Svindal and Jansrud have both won Olympic medals in downhill, super-G and giant slalom. They could join fellow Norwegian Kjetil Andre Aamodt and American Bode Miller as the only men in Olympic history to win medals in four different alpine skiing disciplines. Additionally, Svindal and Jansrud could join Aamodt as the only Norwegian alpine skiers with multiple Olympic gold medals.
Among women, only Sweden’s Anja Parson, Germany’s Katja Seizinger and Croatia’s Janica Kostelic have finished on the podium in four different alpine skiing disciplines at the Olympic Winter Games.
American Ted Ligety won the alpine combined at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games and can become the first man to win a combination event twice at the Olympic Winter Games. Ligety claimed his only other Olympic medal, also gold, in the men’s giant slalom at Sochi 2014. He can also become the first alpine skier from the United States to win a third Olympic gold medal.
Ligety also won the alpine combined world title in 2013 and could become the third man to win this event at least three times at the Olympic Winter Games and World Championships combined, after Aamodt with four and Luxembourg’s Marc Girardelli with three. Svindal could also achieve this feat as he won this discipline at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.
Aamodt, Miller, Ligety, and Norwegian Lasse Kjus are the only men with both an Olympic title and World title in a men’s combination event. Switzerland’s Luca Aerni, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, and Svindal could join them with Olympic gold.
Austria has not won a men’s combination event at the Olympic Winter Games since Mario Reiter won on Feb. 13, 1998, in Nagano. This is Austria’s longest gold medal drought in a men’s alpine skiing event, just ahead of the super-G, which is from Feb. 16, 1998, when Hermann Maier won gold.
Italy’s Christof Innerhofer, who was the bronze medallist in this event in 2014, and Ligety can join Croatia’s Ivica Kostelic, Miller, Aamodt, and Kjus with multiple Olympic medals in a men’s combination event.
Alexis Pinturault can become the first Frenchman to finish on the podium in this event at the Olympic Winter Games in 70 years as Henri Orellier and James Couttet achieved this feat in 1948, winning gold and bronze, respectively.
Norway, Austria, and the United States have won this event a record two times at the Olympic Winter Games.
Statistics provided by FIS and Gracenote Sports.