Austria’s Anna Fenninger won her first gold medal in the women’s super giant slalom while 18 out of the 49 skaters did not finish the tricky course. Austria has won 8 out of 24 medals in the super-G since it was introduced in 1988.
“I don’t know why we can win so much medals (in super-G),” Fenninger said. “I think we just like it.”
Seven of the first eight skiers crashed hard in the course. Only American Leanne Smith made it down, which put her in first and the way the skiers dropped it appeared she would win. People on Twitter wondered if there would be enough skiers to even put on the podium. Germany’s Maria Hofl-Riesch was .55 seconds behind Fenninger for the silver and fellow Austrian Nicole Hosp was .66 seconds and won the bronze.
Fenninger’s previous best result at a major competition was gold in the super-combined at the 2011 world championships, while Sochi super-combined champion Hofl-Riesch, 29, won her fourth Olympic medal and first silver after three golds.
American Julia Mancuso finished the race, but placed eighth. She won the country’s only medal when she received the bronze in the super-combined. It has been a huge letdown since America won a team-record eight medals in Vancouver four years ago. Their star Lindsey Vonn withdrew after she injured her leg.
“She was the leader of the team,” said Peter Schroecksnadel, the president of the Austrian ski federation. “I think that hurts the Americans very much.”