Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Date Started: February 15, 2010
Date Finished: February 25, 2010
Participants: 309 (176 men and 133 women) from 71 countries
Youngest Participant: Manfred Oettl (16 years, 124 days)
Oldest Participant: Hubertus von Fürstenberg-von Hohenlohe (51 years, 26 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): Bode Miller and Aksel Lund Svindal (3 medals)
Most Medals (Country): United States (8 medals)
The weather had a major part to play in the alpine skiing events held near the resort town of Whistler, British Columbia. Initially the warm weather had meant that events had to be postponed, but towards the end of the program it was more the foggy conditions that proved problematical. Despite this, all the events were eventually completed to the relief of the organizers, although the women’s giant slalom ended up being held over two days. Germany won the most gold medals (3), although the United States won the most medals in total, with two gold, three silver and three bronze. Lindsey Vonn (USA) was predicted to do very well – some even thought she could win all five women’s gold medals, and American media often called the 2010 Winter Olympics “the Vonn-couver Olympics” – but in the end she had to make do with a gold and a silver. A sentimental favorite in the mens’ events was Bode Miller (USA) – in Torino, he too had been predicted to win all five events by some commentators, only to come away with nothing. In Vancouver, he won a medal of each color.
The events were a disappointment for some of the more traditional skiing nations. The Swiss team won two gold and a bronze, reasonable although they had done better in the past. Austria too only won three medals (one of each color), with not a single male skier amongst those to stand on the podium. Italy had to wait until the very last event, the men’s slalom, to register their first medal from Giuliano Razzoli. In the final count 10 nations won medals in this discipline. However there was little joy for host nation Canada who had hopes, but in the end had no medals to show for their efforts.
There was technically no change to the alpine skiing program with the same five events for men and women as had been held since 1988. However, in a sense, a new event was added. Skiier cross, with head-to-head alpine-like ski races set up in an elimination tournament format, was on the Olympic Program. However, it was considered as a section of the freestyle skiing discipline, and not alpine skiing.