Three Austrians in top four after first run of Winter Olympics giant slalom, Elisabeth Goergl leads

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on February 24, 2010 11:03 am

It was a morning made for Blublockers, with the women taking on the Winter Olympics giant slalom on a mountain bathed in soup-thick fog.  

Three Austrians sit in the top four after the first run.  Elisabeth Goergl of Austria is in first position, Taina Barioz of France is 0.02 seconds back, and Kathrin Zettel is in third, 0.16 seconds back.  The third Austrian in the top four, Eva-Maria Brem is in fourth.

The hard-luck loser of the first run is Julia Mancuso.  Mancuso’s run had to be aborted half way down the course because Lindsey Vonn had a hard crash starting right in front of Mancuso and had yet to clear the course completely.

A roar went up from the crowd as Lindsey Vonn went up 0.35 seconds after the second split.  Coming over the ridge, Vonn got on her inside ski, and a big bump blasted her knee into her chest and violently threw her back off her skis.  Vonn crashed and slid into the safety fencing.

It’s not clear why race officials started Mancuso with Vonn still down on the race course.  Vonn’s crash happened well before Mancuso’s start.  Yet, there was Mancuso coming over the ridge being waved off by race officials.

Vonn was able to ski off to the bottom after being helped to her feet.  Definitely good news as the crash looked like it could have been trouble for her right knee.

For Mancuso, she was not able to immediately get to the top of the mountain, and by the time she did, some 20 racers later, the course was already destroyed.  Overnight snow and fog made for impossible conditions, and Mancuso was powerless to do much better than 18th place after the first run.

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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