A day dominated by red and white
Wendy Holdener wins the Alpine Combined supported by 10'000 Fans on Salastrains! She is the first female Swiss World Champion since 16 years - Sonja Nef won the giant slalom in 2001. And Holdener is the first female Swiss medalwinner at World Championships since 2003 who is not Lara Gut.
Austria’s Michaela Kirchgasser prevented a Swiss clean-sweep and clocked an excellent second run to gain the bronze. Slalom expert Michelle Gisin showed her true calibre to take the silver with Denise Feierabend just missing out on a medal in fourth.
Consistency is the key
The Swiss trio showed incredible consistency over the two disciplines (downhill and slalom) with particular prowess in the slalom. Following Gut’s unfortunate injury in the afternoon’s warm up, Feierabend set a good tone for what was to follow. With elegance and turning speed it seemed that nobody could hold the Swiss back as they took inspiration from each other’s performances and stormed onto the podium.
Even without Gut’s Participation the Home Nation shone
Following a promising start to the day such misfortune. Lara Gut, having finished third in the morning’s downhill session injured her left knee during warming up for the afternoon’s slalom. Somewhat out of view, hidden behind part of the slope, the series of events leading to the accident remains unclear. What was clear for all to see, Gut rapidly airlifted off the mountain, to be taken to hospital in nearby Samedan. Get well soon Lara.
Time for Celebration
It is time for the celebrations to begin. The medal ceremony took place at Kulm Park at 6.30pm - with all ski fans cheering to the winners!
Surprise of the day: At just 19 years of age, starting with bib 43, Canada’s Valerie Grenier stormed the downhill finishing in 17th place. This secured her a top-30 start for the slalom, which she completed with confidence, rounding off her day’s performance in 11th. Certainly there is more to come from this youngster in the future.
Cheer of the day: “Wendy, Wendy, Wendy”. This may go without saying but today was without doubt the loudest celebration that we have yet heard at Salatrains!Slide of the day: Slovenian Ana Bucik started the afternoon’s session but unfortunately did not finish, sliding headfirst quite a way down the slope. Commiserations and hopefully not too much ice burn.
Consistency of the day: This goes to Michelle Gisin who finished fourth in both runs to claim the silver. Only 0.05 separated her from the gold, but she will be overjoyed to have a medal hanging round her neck!
Colours of the day: Red and white. Swiss (with a little bit of Austrian) flags ruled Salastrains!
The renaming of the day: Edy Reinalter got Gold in the Slalom 1948. Since then no Swiss athlete got another gold medal at a home championship in St. Moritz. Until Wendy Holdener dominated the Alpine Combined. Should we rename Edy, the giant wooden skier in Kulm Park, as wEnDY?