Olympics-Alpine skiing-Kilde gets bronze compensation after Blue Monday – Metro US

Olympics-Alpine skiing-Kilde gets bronze compensation after Blue Monday

Victory Ceremony – Alpine Skiing – Men’s Super-G
Victory Ceremony – Alpine Skiing – Men’s Super-G

YANQING, China (Reuters) – Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde arrived at the Beijing Olympics as the world’s dominant speed skier with talk of a potential double gold in store for the 29-year-old.

But after failing to medal in downhill on Monday he had to settle for bronze in Tuesday’s super-G behind winner Matthias Mayer of Austria and surprise silver medallist Ryan Cochran-Siegle of the United States.

A first Olympic medal was, though, some compensation after a bitter Monday which also saw his girlfriend, American Mikaela Shiffrin, crash out of the giant slalom — an event she had a chance to win.

“It was a tough day in general yesterday,” he said. “Sleeping last night was not easy; waking up today feeling not great. But it was great racing today, so really happy about it.”

Kilde had grabbed a significant lead of one second with a strong run down ‘The Rock’ only to see Mayer deliver a performance worthy of a third gold in as many Olympics.

“I thought I was going to win, of course. When you come in a second ahead on an Olympics, of course … I thought well, this is going to be gold,” he said.

“Then you see the trend and two guys came in in front, and that’s totally fine because they skied like champions.

“This third place is a victory for me.”

Kilde heads the World Cup standings in both downhill and super-G and has had six race wins on the circuit this season in the two speed events.

The Norwegian had no shame in viewing his bronze as compensation for missing out in downhill with his fifth placed finish.

“100%. Yesterday was tough, mostly because I came in as a favourite and had a lot of pressure on my shoulders, and also pressure to myself to deliver,” he added.

“I felt like I didn’t ski well enough yesterday, so that was what made it the most disappointing part of it.

“Today when I can come back and just reset and deliver a solid run, and take my first championship medal, it’s incredible. It’s really a good feeling.”

Veteran team mate Kjetil Jansrud praised the way Kilde had handled Monday’s letdown.

“Every time I talk to him he is very calm. He has been with the team, with Aksel (Lund Svindal) and me for so many years but he has adopted his own style. Yesterday he handled it in a way that is extraordinary,” said the 36-year-old, who won gold in super-G in Sochi in 2014.

“It’s important for him to get a medal but he would have got a medal in the next Olympics. He is here to stay for many years, such a talented skier and a good guy.”

Kilde may yet return to the slopes in Thursday’s combined event with Jansrud saying a decision on that will probably depend on the course conditions.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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