Host City: Sochi, Russia
Venue(s): Rosa Khutor Alpine Center, Krasnaya Polyana
Date Started: February 22, 2014
Date Finished: February 22, 2014
Format: Two runs, total time determined placement.
The last of all Alpine skiing events held in Sochi was the men's slalom which took place as scheduled on Saturday, 22 February. The piste was located between the men's and women's speed course within the [Rosa Khutor Alpine Center]. The start was at an altitude of 1,160 metres and the run ended as all other Alpine skiing events in the same finishing area. The first run started in the late afternoon with cloudy weather, with spring-like temperatures between 7 (start) and 10 (finish) degrees, while the second run was held as a night-race under floodlights with a clear sky and temperatures still between 5 and 6 degrees. The snow was a main factor in this race. A lot of salt was scattered as it was necessary to firm up the snow surface, which was softened by high temperatures. But this refroze the surface causing problems as it soon become weak again and turned into slush.
The season underway saw seven World Cup slaloms held with only [Marcel Hirscher] (Levi and Adelboden) and [Felix Neureuther] (Bormio and Kitzbühel) winning twice. The other races were won by [Mario Matt] (Val d'Isère), [Alexis Pinturault] (Wengen), and [Henrik Kristoffersen], who won the last World Cup slalom prior to the Games in Schladming. The current standings saw Hirscher in the lead followed by Neureuther and Kristoffersen. Hirscher also won the slalom World title in 2013 and the slalom World Cup of the last season 2012/13. Neureuther placed second both times, but his condition was uncertain after a car accident in Germany a week earlier, which caused a whiplash injury. Also considered to be strong were [Jean-Baptiste Grange] (World champion in 2011) and the Swedes [André Myhrer] (slalom World Cup winner 2011-12) and [Mattias Hargin].
Going first on the fresh snow Myhrer (SWE) set the target time of 47.15. His compatriot, Hargin, was next to go and he too set a good time of 47.45. Third skier down, Matt (AUT), was to set the fastest time of the first run in 46.70. None of the other skiers was able to better any of these times, although [Stefano Gross] (ITA), starting 17th, managed to equal the time of Hargin for joint third place.
The second run was, like the slalom part of the Super Combined six days earlier, set by [Ivica Kostelić]'s father Ante. He, not for the first time, created an unusual and controversial course. [Ted Ligety] called it "borderline unsportsmanlike", but as always, Kostelić answered that the top skiers also had to be smart and they should be able to race this run. With the top 30 going in reverse order the second run produced all the drama, with the early leader being Kristoffersen (NOR), starting 1.79 seconds behind Matt in 15th place, posting a combined time of 1:42.67. This time was not challenged until Hirscher (AUT), ninth after the first run, put in a storming run of 54.14 to go into the lead with a combined time of 1:42.12. Remarkably the next four skiers, Pinturault (FRA), Neureuther (GER), Ligety (USA), and Grange (FRA) all failed to finish the course. Hargin's second run contained mistakes and he couldn't repeat his finish of the first run, eventually finishing down in joint seventh. Gross, for a while, threatened to get into the medals and his combined time of 1:42.72 was good enough to put him in joint third place at that stage. When Myhrer also failed to complete the course, it came down to Matt's second run to determine the medals. His experience was to carry him through and, whilst only the sixth fastest run, came through with a combined time of 1:41.84 to take the final Alpine skiing gold medal of the Games. [Adam Žampa] (SVK), with a time of 53.94, skied the fastest second run but, having been 26th after the first run, was never in contention for a medal and finished sixth.
Matt, who turned 35 years of age in April 2014, became the oldest Olympic Alpine skiing champion ever, while bronze medalist Kristoffersen, only 19, became the ever youngest male Olympic Alpine skier on the podium. Matt, skiing on Blizzards, won the only Alpine skiing medal for them in Sochi, while silver was won on Atomic, and bronze on Rossignol. Finishing 43th and last in this race was French-born [Yohan Gonçalves] the first ever Winter Olympic competitor from Timor-Leste. [Hubertus von Hohenlohe] did not have the luck to finish the race when he struggled in the first run. It was only the second time he failed to finish in 15 Olympic events in six Olympic Winter Games over a period of 30 years. With his six participations he equalled the record for Alpine skiers held by [Marco Büchel] and became the oldest ever Alpine skiing competitor aged 55.
|12||Leif Kristian Haugen||26||Norway||NOR||1:44.21|
|13||Nolan Kasper||24||United States||USA||1:44.22|
|17||Dave Ryding||27||Great Britain||GBR||1:45.91|
|25||Adam Barwood||21||New Zealand||NZL||1:56.18|
|31||Hossein Saveh Shemshaki||28||Iran||IRI||1:59.36|
|43||Yohan Gonçalves||19||Timor Leste||TLS||2:30.89|
|AC||Ted Ligety||29||United States||USA||DNF|
|AC||Kryštof Krýzl||27||Czech Republic||CZE||DNF|
|AC||Filip Trejbal||29||Czech Republic||CZE||DNF|
|AC||Igor Laikert||22||Bosnia and Herzegovina||BIH||DNF|
|AC||Dow Travers||26||Cayman Islands||CAY||DNF|
|AC||David Chodounsky||29||United States||USA||DNF|
|AC||Jung Dong-Hyeon||25||South Korea||KOR||DNF|
|AC||Cristian Simari Birkner||33||Argentina||ARG||DNF|
|AC||Gyeong Seong-Hyeon||23||South Korea||KOR||DNF|
|AC||Park Je-Yun||19||South Korea||KOR||DNF|
|AC||Martin Vráblík||31||Czech Republic||CZE||DNF|
|AC||Marko Rudić||24||Bosnia and Herzegovina||BIH||DNF|
|AC||Luke Henri Steyn||20||Zimbabwe||ZIM||DNF|
|AC||Hubertus von Fürstenberg-von Hohenlohe||55||Mexico||MEX||DNF|