Toronto’s Jack Crawford isn’t reaching the heights he was hoping for at the Beijing Olympics, but he likes how he’s setting himself up for future success.
The 24-year-old Crawford was the fastest Canadian in men’s super-G at the 2022 Winter Games on Tuesday, finishing sixth. He considers the discipline his specialty and hoped he could win his first-ever Olympic medal in the race.
“It’s definitely a little bit disappointing, but I’m still I’m still young and I actually haven’t had a World Cup podium or anything like that,” he said. “I haven’t quite reached that level yet.
“I was hoping that might happen here but just isn’t time yet, I guess.”
Austria’s Matthias Mayer won gold in one minute 19.94 seconds to successfully defend his Olympic title.
Mayer broke Norway’s 16-year grip on the men’s Olympic super-G title when he won gold at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. That was four years after he won the downhill title at the Sochi Olympics.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle of the United States earned silver in 1:19.98 and Norway’s Aamodt Aleksander Kilde took bronze in 1:20.36.
“What’s up, Vermont? Hope that holds,” the 29-year-old Cochran-Siegle said after crossing the finish line.
Cochran-Siegle’s silver medal came almost 50 years to the day after his mother, Barbara Ann, won gold in the slalom at the 1972 Sapporo Games.
There are no training runs in super-G, so the only time skiers see the course-set before they start is during inspection on the morning of the race. Skiers that can visualize the quickest racing line better than others gain an advantage.
That was particularly true Tuesday because it was the first time the world’s top skiers had competed in a super-G on the course. Test events on The Rock were cancelled over the last two years amid the pandemic.
Crawford was the first Canadian up, finishing in 1:20.79, 0.85 seconds behind Mayer’s golden time and 0.43 seconds off the podium. He said that his run was undone when he misjudged a turn in the bottom segment on Tuesday morning when he was inspecting the track.
“I just came in a bit early, a bit too aggressive, when I should have been using my brain a little more and it just cost me,” said Crawford. “It cost me my race. That was the big mistake.
“There are definitely other things that could have gone better but that was the big, glaring thing that went wrong today.”
Calgary’s Trevor Philp briefly lost his pole on his run but recovered for a time of 1:21.34 to place 10th.
Thirteen skiers did not finish their runs at the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre, about 90 kilometres north of Beijing.
Broderick Thompson of Whistler, B.C., pulled to the side of the course after his first jump. Brodie Seger of North Vancouver, B.C., also did not finish after missing a gate high up on the track. Seger was visibly frustrated as he made his way down the hill.
Crawford said that the course was “not a totally normal super-G” because it was very high tempo, with the man-made snow very grippy and easy to ski.
“With it feeling so fast, a lot of guys were just missing gates and everybody at the Olympics is gunning for medals,” he said “That’s that’s what you do at an Olympic Games so the risk level is much higher probably than a normal World Cup.”
This was Crawford’s second top-10 finish in as many days.
He was fourth in the men’s downhill event on Monday, finishing seven hundredths of a second behind bronze medallist Mayer and 0.23 seconds behind gold-medal winner Beat Feuz of Switzerland.
The two results are an improvement from his last Olympics. He didn’t finish the super-G at Pyeongchang in 2018, was 20th in Alpine combined, and 29th in the Giant Slalom.
“Downhill was a little bit of a surprise with the result and how I skied,” said Crawford. “It’s been moving in a good direction.”
— With files from The Associated Press