27 January 2023 Aggressive racing from Team Ireland’s Ethan Bouchard fell short, with a crash in the final gates of the second run in the demanding Giant Slalom (GS) course. The seventeen-year-old Alpine Skier was representing West Cork today at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Friuli Venezia Giulia, in Italy.

Similar to yesterday’s Girl’s GS, the athletes were faced with a course that was significantly longer than their usual competitions. Crashes and DNFs peppered the result sheet throughout both runs, with the Irishman happy to keep it between the gates during run one, despite the course becoming increasingly difficult towards the finish line. Bouchard finished well in the first run, describing a testing course, 

“It’s a mixture of everything out there. You have a lot of speed coming down through the gates to a surface that isn’t very stable. That combined with how tired my legs were towards the end, made it exceedingly difficult to keep it upright.”

24 January 2023; Ethan Bouchard of Team Ireland competes in the boys slalom event during day one of the 2023 Winter European Youth Olympic Festival at Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Udine, Italy. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Alpine skiing leaves no room for error and has the added challenge of athletes and coaches having only one chance to inspect the course before their run. The course is then changed for a second run, with the ‘inspection’ that takes place an hour before the race as the only opportunity for them to plan the line that they want to take. However, the ideal line is constantly changing,

“The course changes as more racers go down the mountain because they create ruts with the lines they take,” Bouchard explains, “you have a game plan going into each run, but you also need to be on your toes in case anything comes up in the middle of the race you weren’t expecting; you need to be as reactive as possible.”

After a decent first run, the young Alpine Skier found the second run had less space between the gates, requiring more precision on the turns. An aggressive first half of the race had him placed toward the top of the ranking. However, this additional speed and drive to get the best result finally caught him when he veered off course, and crashed through the final gate, resulting in a DNF.

Tomorrow is the final day of racing for Team Ireland athletes at the multi-sport event in Italy. Both Bouchard and Wicklow-born Eábha McKenna will be competing in the Super-G, the fastest of the three Alpine Skiing disciplines at the EYOF.



Ethan Bouchard – Boy’s Giant Slalom – DNF (in Run 2).  Run 1 (54th – 1:27.84 – +8.85) 

Gold Miha Oserban (SLO) 2:40.05

Silver Rasmus Bakkevig (NOR) 2:40.54 (+0.49) 

Bronze Moritz Zudrell (AUT) 2:41.03 (+0.98) 

SCHEDULE FRIDAY 27th JANUARY 2023 (Irish time)

08:30 Eábha McKenna – Girl’s Super-G

11:30 Ethan Bouchard – Boy’s Super-G

All events are live-streamed HERE, and can be followed HERE


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