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Alain Baxter

Full name: Alain Baxter
Nickname(s): The Highlander
Gender: Male
Height: 5'10" (179 cm)
Weight: 165 lbs (75 kg)
Born: December 26, 1973 in Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Great Britain
Affiliations: Cairgorm Ski Club, (GBR)
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Alpine Skiing

Related Olympians: Cousin of Lesley McKenna; Brother of Noel Baxter.

Biography

Alain Baxter came from strong family tradition of skiing as both parents and his brother Noel were part of the British ski team at various times and a cousin Lesley McKenna was a snowboarding Olympian. He was even named after French skiing star Alain Penz.

Baxter learned to ski at the age of two and was a member of the national team at the age of sixteen.

He made his World Cup debut in 1996 but did not break into the top 100 of the slalom world rankings when he posted two top thirty finishes at the World Championships. After steady improvement he had a breakthrough season in 2000-01 where he recorded what was to be his best World Cup performance of 4th in the final slalom of the season. Results were mixed in 2001-02 but at the Olympic Games he took advantage of an early start position in the 2nd run of the slalom and watched as other skiers struggled in the worsening conditions to the point where he ended the event as the first Briton to win an Olympic medal on snow as opposed to ice. A few weeks after the Games it was announced that his sample had tested positive for methamphetamine. The explanation given was that the methamphetamine was contained in a nasal decongestant that differed between the American and European markets. Whilst the European version did not contain any ingredient that would cause a doping positive Baxter had purchased an inhaler in Utah which contained an inactive isomer of methamphetamine. The FIS banned Baxter for three months, although that was later rescinded by the Court of Arbitration of Sport, and the IOC stripped him of his Olympic medal.

Although he raced on for another six seasons he never returned to the level success he reached in prior to the 2002 Olympics and retired after the 2009 season. His last race before retirement was the slalom at the British Championship, a race where he competed wearing a kilt over his ski-suit and stopped before the finish line to take a “wee dram o’ whisky”. In addition to skiing he played semi-professional ice-hockey and shinty.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1998 Winter 24 Nagano Alpine Skiing Men's Giant Slalom Great Britain GBR 31
1998 Winter 24 Nagano Alpine Skiing Men's Slalom Great Britain GBR AC DQ
2002 Winter 28 Salt Lake City Alpine Skiing Men's Slalom Great Britain GBR AC DQ
2006 Winter 32 Torino Alpine Skiing Men's Slalom Great Britain GBR 16

Men's Giant Slalom

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1998 Winter 24 Nagano Alpine Skiing Great Britain Final Standings 31 2:49.82
1998 Winter 24 Nagano Alpine Skiing Great Britain Run 1 39 1:26.29
1998 Winter 24 Nagano Alpine Skiing Great Britain Run 2 31 1:23.53

Men's Slalom

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1998 Winter 24 Nagano Alpine Skiing Great Britain Final Standings AC DQ
1998 Winter 24 Nagano Alpine Skiing Great Britain Run 1 AC DQ [57.83]
2002 Winter 28 Salt Lake City Alpine Skiing Great Britain Final Standings AC DQ [1:42.32]
2002 Winter 28 Salt Lake City Alpine Skiing Great Britain Run 1 AC DQ [50.16]
2002 Winter 28 Salt Lake City Alpine Skiing Great Britain Run 2 AC DQ [52.16]
2006 Winter 32 Torino Alpine Skiing Great Britain Final Standings 16 1:46.15
2006 Winter 32 Torino Alpine Skiing Great Britain Run 1 20 54.93
2006 Winter 32 Torino Alpine Skiing Great Britain Run 2 18 51.22