Skeleton at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games will be contested from Feb. 15-17, with medals awarded in two different events.
Nicknamed the “Russian Rocket,” Aleksandr Tretiyakov thrust to the top of the 2014 Sochi Olympic skeleton standings on his first run and never let off the gas. The cumulative times of four face-first runs down the sliding course is used to determine the Olympic skeleton champion. At the end of each of the four runs, Tretiyakov was on top. There’s nothing quite like sliding on home ice in the Olympics.
Silver would go to Latvia’s Martins Dukurs, his second in two Olympic Games, while bronze would end up in the hands of Team USA’s Matt Antoine. Antoine and his U.S. teammate, John Daly, traded the third and fourth spots on the leaderboard twice, but after Daly lost control of his sled in his fourth and final run he dropped well out of medal contention to finish 15th.
Similarly, in the women’s skeleton competition it was Great Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold who jumped out to the early lead and never let it go. Team USA’s Noelle Pikus-Pace, who stated a medal of any color was as “good as gold,” would slip past Russia’s Elena Nikitina after her second run, holding off the Russian through heats three and four to win silver. Nikitina would go on to take home the bronze for the host nation.
Men and women compete in separate events in a discipline which requires athletes to hurl themselves head first down an icy chute. Skeleton sleds can reach speeds of around 80 mph as athletes fight intense G-forces created by the serpentine course to keep their heads up and their eyes on the track.
Skeleton events will be held at the Alpensia Sliding Centre during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.
Axel Jungk, Germany
Martins Dukurs, Latvia
Tomass Dukurs, Latvia
Alexander Tretiakov, Russia
Matthew Antoine, United States
Tina Hermann, Germany
Jacqueline Loelling, Germany
Elena Nikitina, Russia
Marina Gilardoni, Switzerland
Anne O'Shea, United States
Katie Uhlaender, United States
Alpine skiing at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games will be contested from Feb. 11-24, with medals awarded in eleven different events.
Room for Two
In an Olympic first in any alpine skiing event, the women’s downhill ended in a tie for gold. Dominique Gisin of Switzerland and Tina Maze of Slovenia each crossed the finish line in 1:41:57 to the surprise of Olympic alpine fans all over the world.
Maze arrived at the Olympic Games after amassing a monster 2013 World Cup season, crushing stats and looking like a world beater. After opening Sochi with a fourth-place finish in the super-combined, Olympic gold for the Slovenian was in doubt. The tie for downhill gold was followed by a fifth place finish in the Super-G, but she again bounced back and collected her second gold in Sochi in the giant slalom, her signature event. Maze was the only alpine skier, man or woman, to leave Sochi with two gold medals.
Bode’s record-setting tie for bronze
Team USA’s Bode Miller has insisted his passion has never been based in the pursuit of Olympic medals but instead the search for the purest, fastest line from the top to the bottom of a race course. As that search continued in his fifth Olympic Games in Sochi, Miller found himself on the podium for the sixth time in his career, in a tie for bronze with Canada’s Jan Hudec in the men’s Super-G. The bronze medal performance made Miller the oldest Olympic alpine medalist in history. U.S. teammate Andrew Weibrecht also made it onto the Super-G podium using skies on loan from Miller, as well as course intel from the Olympic vet, to take home silver after overcoming a seemingly insurmountable string of injuries prior to the Games.
Ted Ligety triumphs
U.S. alpine champ Ted Ligety won his first Olympic gold medal at the 2006 Torino Olympics. In 2010, Ligety showed up in Vancouver ready to stake his claim on the mountain, but ultimately left Canada empty-handed while questioning his own efforts. Entering his third Olympics after winning three gold medals at the 2013 World Championships, Ligety was looking for vindication, and he got it, winning gold in the men’s giant slalom.
Shiffrin’s in (the record books)
At 18, Team USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest alpine gold medalist in Olympic history when she threw down two slalom runs that landed her on top of the podium in Sochi. It was also the first time a U.S. skier had won slalom gold since Phil Mahre won in Sarajevo in 1984, and the first for a U.S. woman since 1972 when Barbara Cochran won gold in Sapporo.
Skiers will compete across the following eleven events, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to the top three finishers.
Alpine skiing events will be held in two locations within the Taebaek Mountains of PyeongChang during the 2018 Olympic Games. Yongpyong Alpine Centre will host the giant slalom, slalom and team event, while Jeongseon Alpine Centre will serve as the slopes for downhill, Super-G and the combined.
Marcel Hirscher, Austria
Peter Fill, Italy
Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway
Henrik Kristoffersen, Norway
Ted Ligety, United States
Bode Miller, United States
Steven Nyman, United States
Andrew Weibrecht, United States
Tina Weirather, Liechtenstein
Lara Gut, Switzerland
Wendy Holdener, Switzerland
Julia Mancuso, United States
Mikaela Shiffrin, United States
Resi Stiegler, United States
Lindsey Vonn, United States