Host City: Sochi, Russia
Venue(s): Rosa Khutor Alpine Center, Krasnaya Polyana
Date Started: February 18, 2014
Date Finished: February 18, 2014
Format: Two runs, total time determined placement.
The fourth women's Alpine sking event in Sochi was held on Tuesday, 18 February, with the starting times for both runs moved up 90 minutes to avoid melting snow due to the warm weather. The course loacted in the [Rosa Khutor Alpine Center] started at an altitude of 1,365 metres on a separate slope and after halfway, at the "Serpentine" passage, and then followed the lower part of the downhill course to the finish area. The terrain was described as easy, which could presage a close race. The five World Cup giant slaloms of the season underway saw five different winners with Lara Gut (Sölden), Jessica Lindell-Vikarby (Beaver Creek), Tessa Worley (St. Moritz), Tina Weirather (Val d'Isère), and Anna Fenninger (Lienz), who also represented five different nations. The current World Cup standing was topped by Lindell-Vikarby in front of Pietilä-Holmner, Weirather, and Fenninger. The 2010 gold medalist Viktoria Rebensburg also won the giant slalom World Cup in 2010/11 and 2011/12, while Vancouver silver medalist Tina Maze was 2011 World champion and won the giant slalom World Cup in 2012/13. The reigning World champion from 2013 was Worley, but she missed the Games after tearing her right ACL shortly before Christmas in the World Cup slalom in Courchevel only two days after her win in St. Moritz.
As in 2010 weather conditions were influential in determining the outcome of this race, with snow at the top of the course turning to rain at the bottom. In the first run this favored the early skiers. First to go was Tina Maze (SLO), who set what proved to be the fastest time of 1:17.88. Behind her was the next starter Jessica Lindell-Vikarby (SWE) who was 0.52 seconds behind. As skiers struggled with the conditions, Anna Fenninger (AUT) posted a good time of 1:18.73, followed by the young American skier Mikaela Shiffrin with a time of 1:18.79. Defending champion Viktoria Rebensberg (GER) came next, but was some 1.36 seconds off the pace of Maze. Only Nadia Fanchini (ITA) was able to threaten the leader, posting a time of 1:18.53 to finish in third place at the end of the first run.
With the top 30 going in reverse order, Rebensberg was to take the lead, her run of 1:17.90 proving to be the fastest second run, and a combined time of 2:37.14 setting the target. Shiffrin could not improve on this and finished 0.23 seconds behind the leader. However Fenninger was to take over the lead with the third fastest second run, setting a new target of 2:36.94. Fanchini was unable to defeat either of the two leading times and Lindell-Vikarby did not have a good second run, putting her down to seventh place. Going last Maze had a relatively slow run (11th fastest), but had enough in hand over Fenninger to hang on and win her second gold medal by 0.07 seconds. The second fastest in the second run was Lara Gut (SUI), but a poor first run cost her any chance of a medal and she finished in ninth place.
With her second gold at this Games Maze become the most sucessful Alpine skier in Sochi. She also won a second gold medal for skiing manufacturer Stöckli, while Fenninger used Head and Rebensburg won the sole medal at this Games for Nordica, with bronze. Six different nations placed in the top six and all also used different skis. Finishing in 55th place Alessia Afi Dipol became the first Alpine skiing competitor for Togo, only five days after Mathilde Amivi Petitjean represented this country for the first time in Winter Olympics. Back in 65th position Elise Pellegrin was the first ever Winter Olympic competitor from Malta and in 67th place was Vanessa Vanakorn, the first Alpine skier from Thailand. She was much better known as Vanessa-Mae, world famous violinist, who was reported to have sold over 10 million albums. Having dual nationality (British and Thai) she elected to ski for Thailand under her father's name.
|5||Mikaela Shiffrin||18||United States||USA||2:37.37|
|29||Resi Stiegler||28||United States||USA||2:44.07|
|30||Megan McJames||26||United States||USA||2:44.37|
|37||Žana Novaković||28||Bosnia and Herzegovina||BIH||2:47.78|
|39||Macarena Simari Birkner||29||Argentina||ARG||2:47.85|
|46||Helga Maria Vilhjalmsdottir||18||Iceland||ISL||2:51.91|
|53||Kim So-Hui||17||South Korea||KOR||3:01.83|
|55||Alessia Afi Dipol||18||Togo||TOG||3:02.80|
|56||Jasmine Campbell||22||United States Virgin Islands||ISV||3:05.05|
|AC||Julia Mancuso||29||United States||USA||DNF|
|AC||Kateřina Pauláthová||20||Czech Republic||CZE||DNF|
|AC||Šárka Záhrobská-Strachová||28||Czech Republic||CZE||DNF|
|AC||Martina Dubovská||21||Czech Republic||CZE||DNF|
|AC||Federica Silva||17||San Marino||SMR||DNF|