Jack Gower, the sole Team Ireland athlete in action today, finished 12th overall in the Alpine Combined event at the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing today. Competing in his first Olympics, Gower started the day strong with fourteenth in the Downhill, before going two places better in the Slalom, and an overall time of 2:37.74 and Ireland’s best Alpine Skiing result ever; a position only bettered by Lord Clifton Wrottesley in the Skeleton in 2002.
The Alpine Combined is an event where athletes compete in the Downhill speed event with the more technical Slalom, the overall winner is the fastest racer once the race times are combined. Normally a Downhill specialist, Gower put down a clean run in the challenging and technical Slalom course, finishing twelfth fastest in that run with a time of 52:58, placing him firmly inside his top fifteen goal when it was combined with the earlier Downhill time of 1:45.16, resulting in an overall twelfth fastest time of 2:37.74.
Pleased with his finish position, Gower said,
“Twelfth at the Olympics, I mean that’s crazy – there’s 30,000 competitors in Alpine Skiing, to get twelfth is… what can I say, it’s great.
“As an athlete you always want a little more. The downhill I had some really good sections and some slower sections, and the slalom was a real battle, so I would love to have done better. But at the same time 12th in the Olympics in such a competitive sport is huge, and I feel so grateful that I have had such huge support.”
Speaking after the Downhill earlier in the day, Gower was happy with his run, saying,
“This track is brilliant, with all the slipping it’s getting a bit bumpier, a little bit icier and a little faster which suits me. I had too many mistakes in that run to really be as competitive as I want. There was some decent skiing and something I can take away from that. Downhill can feel very calm when it’s all going very well, but feels very fast and scary when things are not clicking. I think it was the same for that run and where I was skiing well it felt very in control and good.”
Tomorrow Tess Arbez will compete in her last race of Beijing 2022, with the Super-G. This is the first time that she will compete in this speed race in the Olympic Games. In Zhangjiakou, Thomas Maloney Westgaard competes in his preferred event, the Cross-Country 15km Classic.
Men’s Alpine Combined Overall
Gold – Johannes Strolz (AUT) 2:31.43
Silver – Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) 2:32.02 (+0.59)
Bronze – James Crawford (CAN) 2:32.11 (+0.68)
12th – Jack Gower (IRL) 2:37.74 (+6.31)
Alpine Combined Downhill
Jack Gower (14) 1:45.16
Alpine Combined Slalom
Jack Gower (12) 52.58
SCHEDULE 11 FEBRUARY
03:00 Tess Arbez, Alpine Skiing, Super-G
07:00 Thomas Maloney Westgaard, Cross-Country Skiing, 15km Classic
For full schedules, results and information on Team Ireland head to www.olympicsdev.wpengine.com, and
The updated schedule for Team Ireland in Beijing 2022 can be found HERE.