Petra Vlhova of Slovakia held on for a gold medal in an exhilarating women’s slalom competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Vlhova’s win was a historic one, as it is the first alpine skiing medal of any kind for Slovakia. The 26-year-old is making her third Olympic appearance, but this is her first time placing in the top 10 in the women’s slalom. She finished 19th at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and 13th at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.
Only .12 seconds separated gold from bronze. Vlhova led the way with a total time of 1:44.98, Austra’s Katherina Leinsberger earned silver with a time of 1:45.06 and defending silver medalist Wendy Holdener of Switzerland took bronze with a time of 1:45.10. Vlhova was in eighth place after the first run, but she put together the fastest time of the day (52:09) on her second run to put herself in the leading position.
Lena Deurr of Germany posted the fastest opening run and was the last skier on the course. Her 53-second second run kept her .19 seconds off Vlhova’s total time and .07 seconds away from the podium.
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Austria’s Katharina Gallhuber, the reigning bronze medalist, placed 14th with a time of 1:47.33.
For Team USA, Paula Moltzan (1:46.18) came in eighth, Katie Hensien (1:49.31) came in 26th and AJ Hurt came in 34th.
Mikaela Shiffrin’s day ended quickly as she skied out within seconds of her opening run. The three-time Olympic medalist had just missed out on the women’s slalom podium in 2018, finishing fourth, after winning gold in the event during the Sochi Games.
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
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Shiffrin was not the only competitor who did not finish during the event. Thirty-eight of the 88 skiers ended a run with a DNF.
Next up for women’s alpine skiing is the super-G, which begins at 10 p.m. ET on Thursday.