Beijing Olympics: French skier Johan Clarey wins silver medal in downhill



French veteran Johan Clarey achieved the feat of winning the silver medal in the downhill at the Beijing Olympics at the age of 41 on Monday February 7, on an unprecedented track, just 10 hundredths of a second from the Swiss Beat Feuz, bringing a second podium to France.

After celebrating his 41st birthday in early January, Johan Clarey took all the risks to achieve the greatest feat of his career by finishing second in the main event of the Games in alpine skiing.

After the postponement of the race from Sunday to Monday due to the wind, it was under a bright sun, and with a calm wind that the Frenchman won his first Olympic medal in four participations. He broke the record for the oldest medalist in alpine skiing, so far held by American Bode Miller, who was 36 when he won the super-G bronze in 2014.

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In one minute 42 seconds 79/100th, Johan Clarey, who had recently shown his form by being the oldest skier on a World Cup podium at the end of January (2nd in Kitzbühel), simply gave in to the Swiss Beat Feuz. Austrian Matthias Mayer completes the podium while Norwegian favorites Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (5th) and Swiss Marco Odermatt (7th) are behind.

The most prestigious stage in the sporting world

With this title on the most prestigious stage in the sporting world, Beat Feuz has achieved the goal of a lifetime and engraved his name in the memories. History will also remember him as the first Olympic champion of a mountain without snow, transformed for the occasion by a country which had never hosted an international alpine ski competition. On this 3 km ribbon, winding between the rocks and bushes of an arid massif, the Bernese once again used his talents as a skirmisher.

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After the downhillers, alpine skiing has another highlight, with the women’s giant slalom. The first run, scheduled just before the downhill, has already offered a first big surprise with the elimination of one of the favourites, the American Mikaela Shiffrin.

The French Tessa Worley was also eliminated from the giant slalom on Monday, falling shortly before the finish of the second run. Tessa Worley, one of the two flag bearers of the French delegation during the opening ceremony, had signed the seventh fastest time in the first run. The double giant world champion continues her upset history with the Games: in giant, her favorite discipline, she finished 16th in 2010, was injured in 2014 and ranked 7th in 2018.

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