Toronto skier James Crawford won a silver medal in men’s downhill at the World Cup stop in Aspen on Saturday.
Crawford, who won the super-G at the world championships last month in Courchevel, France, finished in a time of one minute 32.21 seconds and carved himself a spot between superstars Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway and Marco Odermatt of Switzerland.
With the win, Kilde, who finished more than a half second ahead of Crawford, earned his second consecutive World Cup downhill title.
The Norwegian collected his sixth victory in nine downhills this season, allowing him to join Stephan Eberharter as the only male ski racers in the past 45 years with that many. Eberharter did it in 2001-02 and 2002-03; before that, the last man with at least a half-dozen downhill triumphs in one season was Franz Klammer in 1977.
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“It’s been a fantastic season. … I would never expect anything like that,” said Kilde, who was supported by a group of relatives, including his parents, and friends in the crowd.
“Just got to keep on pushing,” he said with a smile, “and try to do it next year again.”
His triumph came hours after his girlfriend, Mikaela Shiffrin, wrapped up her fifth career World Cup overall title by tying for fifth place in a downhill at Kvitfjell, Norway.
“It’s hard to put a finger on what exactly we do, but I think just the support we give each other every day is what brings us to the results we have and to the moments like this,” Kilde said, calling himself “proud” of Shiffrin, who is one victory shy of Ingemar Stenmark’s career record of 86 World Cup wins.
“We do a lot of things together and we support each other, no matter what,” he said.
It was Crawford’s third downhill podium finish this season, adding to the silver he won in Bormio, Italy and the bronze he claimed at Beaver Creek, Col. in December.
Kilde and Odermatt are tied for the overall World Cup season lead with a total of eight race wins apiece.
The circuit’s stop in Aspen concludes with a super-G on Sunday.
A downhill scheduled for Friday was scrapped after just 24 racers because of snow and fog; 30 are required to make an event official.
With files from The Associated Press.