Olympics-Alpine skiing-Kilde gets his reward for overcoming morning doubts – Metro US

Olympics-Alpine skiing-Kilde gets his reward for overcoming morning doubts

Victory Ceremony – Alpine Skiing – Men’s Alpine Combined
Victory Ceremony – Alpine Skiing – Men’s Alpine Combined

YANQING, China (Reuters) – When Aleksander Aamodt Kilde got out of bed on Thursday morning, he wondered if it made any sense at all for him to take part in the Alpine combined race.

A few hours later though, as the Norwegian stood with a silver medal around his neck, he was thankful that the spirit of the occasion had convinced him to take on the challenge of the event, which features a downhill and then a slalom run.

Kilde came into these Games backed by many as the favourite for the downhill but he ended a disappointing fifth in the marquee race.

After the Alpine combined event, he ends his involvement in Beijing with two medals after also picking up a bronze in the super-G.

He had been close to settling for that single medal, though, especially as he so rarely skies slalom.

Kilde said he woke up feeling the aches and pain in his body from days of intense skiing.

“My knees, after a lot of days on skis and also on this aggressive snow, really sore knees now and the body in general.

“So I was thinking if I wanted to risk it, because it’s a long season coming and I hadn’t skied slalom in two years so I had no clue what was going to happen,” he said.

Then he remembered what he had travelled to China for.

“I thought, ‘Hey, we’re in the Olympics, I need to just go for it now’.”

He was fastest in the downhill leg but once he got his slalom skis on, Kilde had further doubts.

“I had a really, really bad feeling this morning on my slalom skis. I skied out five times on one run and thought to myself, ‘What am I doing here?’

“But when you believe in yourself and you start with bib one on this kind of snow and you can just enjoy it, try to have fun with it, then everything is possible,” added the Norwegian.

What was possible was a silver medal, as Kilde did enough in slalom to make second place behind gold medallist Johannes Strolz of Austria.

“It was quite amazing. I haven’t skied slalom in two years,” Kilde said. “I just had a good feeling when I was skiing. I went for it, just pointed the skis and tried to stay in balance. When you have good skis and good equipment then it runs easier.

“It’s huge. What an Olympic Games it has been. Of course some emotions on the way, but still quite amazing.”

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Hugh Lawson)