Beijing, Feb 7 (EFE) – Switzerland’s Beat Feuz crowned his brilliant career by becoming Olympic champion in the men’s downhill, the highlight event of alpine skiing, at the Beijing 2022 Games on Monday at the demanding Yanqing track, where 41-year-old Johan Clarey of France took a record-breaking silver medal and Austria’s Matthias Mayer took the bronze.
“I can’t think of anything more beautiful than flying home with a gold medal around my neck,” said Feuz, the four-time reigning World Cup downhill champion with a record 45 victories in alpine skiing’s fastest discipline throughout his stellar career.
Feuz, the reigning world champion and heavy favorite to take Olympic gold, was flying on the hard artificial snow of the Yanqing track, securing the most significant victory of his career in one minute, 42 seconds and 69 hundredths, just one tenth of second less than Clarey, the day’s other ‘winner’, who at the age of 41 became the oldest Olympic medalist in the history of alpine skiing.
Clarey, who at the age of 41 won silver in the downhill at the Beijing 2022 Games and became the oldest alpine skier in history to win an Olympic medal, said Monday that the “record does not matter.”
“The record, it does not matter – winning an Olympic medal, when you’re 20 or 41, it’s the best feeling,” Clarey said after his run to bag his first ever Olympic podium.
“I just have to calm down a little and think about what I did, but it’s just unbelievable. Maybe in a couple of hours I will be happier. I’m happy, but I don’t realize it yet,” said Clarey.
Mayer, a double Olympic champion — in downhill, at the Sochi Games, eight years ago; and in supergiant, at PyeongChang, four years ago — was 16 hundredths of a second behind Feuz and settled for the bronze.
“I lost something at the top of the track, in the first sector, because it wasn’t my best start. But congratulations to Beat Feuz for his victory. I am very happy with this bronze,” said Mayer after finishing third in the most prestigious competition at the Beijing 2022 Games. EFE