For the first day in a week, the skies over Whistler's Dave Murray Downhill course were cloudy and cold, so perhaps it's fitting that the GS victory went to Switzerland's Carol Janka, nicknamed The Iceman. Janka, who's been skiing great all season, put down the fastest combined time in the two-run event to secure the gold by a margin of .39 seconds. Behind him, Norway's Kjetil Jansrud and Aksel Lund Svindal, whose bronze today is his third of these games. Like Bode Miller, Svindal now has one of each color, and like Miller, he's a five-event skier.
Downhill–with its autobahn speeds and spectacular crashes—may be the mountain's riskiest event, but the turny, precise technical courses demand a level of exactitude unmatched in the Winter Olympic arena.
Giant Slalom The Austrians—perennially dominant across the alpine field—prize the GS above all and consider it to be the skier’s event. It requires deft precision and measured abandon, making it, arguably, the most challenging discipline to master. Thank goodness for malleable polycarbonate gate poles, which give a little when racers hit them. Even at relatively slow GS speeds, forces can exceed 75 gs—roughly equivalent to a full-speed helmet-to-helmet collision in football—as racers brush gates aside with their forearms and shoulders.