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Snowboarding at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games:

Men's Parallel Giant Slalom

Snowboarding at the 2002 Winter Games: Next Winter Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Salt Lake City, United States
Venue(s): Park City Mountain Resort, Park City, Utah
Date Started: February 14, 2002
Date Finished: February 15, 2002

Gold: SUI Philipp Schoch
Silver: SWE Richard Richardsson
Bronze: USA Chris Klug

Summary

This was the Olympic début for parallel giant slalom, as in 1998, a giant slalom run as a two-run time trial had been conducted. In this event, 32 boarders started with 16 advancing to the single-elimination match racing rounds. The favorite was Sweden’s Richard Richardsson, who had won the 1999 World Championship. The qualifying was led by Swiss boarder Gilles Jaquet, with his teammate, Philipp Schoch, barely making the elimination runs, finishing 15th. In the match racing, the slope was very icy, and in only one run did both boarders finish cleanly. In the first round, Schoch recorded a major upset, defeating Alexander Maier, brother of top alpine skier Hermann “The Hermannator” Maier. Against Schoch, Alexander Maier fell in the first run, and did not finish the second run. The final eventually matched Schoch and Richardsson. Schoch had never made the podium at a major international competition, and Richardsson was expected to win easily, and he won the first run by 0.24 seconds, wearing the helmet of Fritz Strobl, who had won downhill gold in alpine skiing a few days earlier. But on the second run, Richardsson almost fell several times, did not finish, and the gold medal went to Philipp Schoch. Schoch’s brother, Simon, also competed, placing 25th in qualifying. They would return in 2006, and make it to the final together, where Philipp Schoch would defend his title.

The bronze medal came down to America’s Chris Klug against France’s Nicolas Huet. Huet was the reigning World Champion, but was the last qualifier. In the first round against Jaquet, he advanced when Jaquet fell twice. Klug won both races to earn the bronze medal, but had a scare before the second run when the buckle on his left boot broke. A quick fix with duct tape solved the problem for him. For Klug, it was a minor obstacle compared to his previous health issues. In 1993 he was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a liver disease that leads to liver failure. After seven years on the transplant list, he received a liver transplant in 2000. He was back training within two months of that operation and is the only Olympic medalist to have competed after being a transplant recipient.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Philipp Schoch 22 Switzerland SUI Gold
2 Richard Richardsson 28 Sweden SWE Silver
3 Chris Klug 29 United States USA Bronze
4 Nicolas Huet 25 France FRA
5 Dejan Košir 29 Slovenia SLO
6 Mathieu Bozzetto 28 France FRA
7 Sigi Grabner 27 Austria AUT
8 Walter Feichter 27 Italy ITA
9 Gilles Jaquet 27 Switzerland SUI
10 Alexander Maier 27 Austria AUT
11 Daniel Biveson 25 Sweden SWE
12 Jérôme Sylvestre 22 Canada CAN
13 Stefan Kaltschütz 24 Austria AUT
14 Dieter Krassnig 28 Austria AUT
15 Stephen Copp 25 Sweden SWE
16 Mathias Behounek 26 Germany GER
17 Mark Fawcett 30 Canada CAN
18 Markus Ebner 31 Germany GER
19 Roland Fischnaller 21 Italy ITA
20 Jeff Greenwood 26 United States USA
21 Christophe Ségura 27 France FRA
22 Kurt Niederstätter 25 Italy ITA
23 Charlie Cosnier 22 France FRA
24 Ryan Wedding 20 Canada CAN
25 Simon Schoch 23 Switzerland SUI
26 Zeke Steggall 30 Australia AUS
27 Peter Thorndike 24 United States USA
28 Jonas Aspman 28 Sweden SWE
29 Jasey-Jay Anderson 26 Canada CAN
AC Ueli Kestenholz 26 Switzerland SUI DNF
AC Tomaž Knafelj 29 Slovenia SLO DNF
AC Simone Salvati 28 Italy ITA DQ