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Despite being behind by a whole second after the downhill portion of the super combined, Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch won her second consecutive gold medal in the event.
Hoefl-Riesch turned in a time of 50.90 in the slalom discipline to overtake the leader after the downhill, Julia Mancuso of the United States. Mancuso fell back to third place after her time in the slalom of 52.47.
The silver medal went to Nicole Hosp of Austria, who cruised down the slalom course in 51.07, but her time was not good enough to catch up with Hoefl-Riesch.
Lara Gut of Switzerland, who was second after the downhill, failed to finish in the slalom, a fate that a couple of other skiers faced as well.
Gold: Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany): 2:34.62 total time
Silver: Nicole Hosp (Austria): 2:35.02
Bronze: Julia Mancuso (United States): 2:35.15
Last Updated by Joe Tansey.
In an event that pairs a morning downhill race followed by an afternoon slalom, the obvious pick would be Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch, the defending world champion and 2010 Olympic gold medalist.
Usually skiers are good at one or the other—sheer speed in the downhill or technical prowess in the slalom. Hoefl-Riesch is threat to medal in any event she skis at the Games, however.
U.S. skier Julia Mancuso, the most decorated female Alpine Olympian with three medals, won silver here in Vancouver, but she has been out of form this season. Consider her a dark horse with potential to surprise.
As Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times notes, "The one thing you can't deny about Mancuso is her ability to perform on the big stage."
Teammates Laurenne Ross and Stacey Cook have been consistently fast in downhill training, and Mancuso was right there in eighth on the last day. Leanne Smith will also start.
This oddball race is an open one, with Canadian Marie-Michele Gagnon suddenly entering the picture by winning her career first World Cup race in this event just before the Olympics. If she wins a medal, it would be Canada’s first Alpine medal since 1992.
Austria’s Anna Fenninger has shown good speed this season and in training runs. Versatile veterans Nicole Hosp—Fenninger’s teammate—and Slovenian Tina Maze have all the tools needed for a podium finish, though Maze has struggled this season in comparison to last.
Gold: Maria Hoefl-Riesch, Germany
Silver: Anna Fenninger, Austria
Bronze: Marie-Michele Gagnon, Canada