Michael Schmid of Switzerland wins ski cross gold, Daron Rhalves crashes massively, Errol Kerr ninth

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on February 21, 2010 4:05 pm

Michael Schmid survived the carnage that took out medal favorite and home court man Chris Del Basco to earn gold in the debut of ski cross at the Winter Olympics.

Austria’s Andreas Matt takes home the silver medal, and Norway’s Audun Groenvold gets the bronze.

The second-to-last jump at Cypress Mountain was Del Basco’s undoing.  Staying clear of the chaos behind him, Schmid flew to victory.  “It’s amazing, I don’t find words for it. We had a lot of fun out there,” said Schmid. “The start was very important.”

American Daron Rhalves had a massive collision with France’s Ted Piccard in the opening race of the first round.  Rhalves was able to ski off after the incident, but collapsed in pain after crossing the finish line.  This is likely the end of the 36-year-old’s career.  He goes down as the winningest male downhill racer in U.S. history with nine World Cup downhill wins.

The other American, Casey Puckett was also eliminated in the first of eight rounds.  Jamaican Errol Kerr just missed the finals, and ends his first Winter Olympics with a 9th place finish.

The first Winter Olympics for ski cross was an exciting one.  The course was fast, bumpy, and had lots of jumps.  Its visual chaos had the crowd at Cypress Mountain in awe.

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