Radamus 11th in World Championships Giant Slalom Debut
Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete River Radamus had a banner day at his FIS World Alpine Ski World Championships giant slalom debut, skiing into 11th place.
Conditions were bright and sunny yet again, pushing away the memories of postponements and cancelations from early in the World Champs, but the course still presented challenges with conditions varying throughout the track. Frenchman Mathieu Favre powered through to take the gold—his second gold medal at the World Champs and his first time on the giant slalom podium in two years. Luca De Aliprandini of Italy was second for his first podium ever, thrilling the hometown Italian fans watching from their homes. Marco Schwarz of Austria took the bronze for his second medal of the World Champs. Alexis Pinturault of France, the favorite coming into the race, was leading after first run but fell and did not finish.
River shred the first run of giant slalom in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, taking ninth place and came out confidently into the second run. But he made a few errors and lost time throughout the course, which pushed him back to 11th place. “As they say, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face," said Radamus. "I felt like I was behind it up top and never really got going and attacking it the rest of the way,” he said.
River was disappointed in himself but now turns his eyes toward the future, where he knows there’s more to come for him. “It’s weird to be disappointed with a personal best, but I felt like I just had so much more in me today,” he said. “Didn’t quite execute the way I wanted to on second run and left a lot of time there, but it’s a good steppingstone I think.”
The 23-year-old Radamus, who has a decorated past as a two-time World Juniors champion and three-time Youth Olympic Games gold medal winner, has had a solid 2020-21 season so far, nailing top-20 and points-scoring results throughout the year, including an eighth place in the parallel and sixth place in team parallel at these World Championships. He knows the potential is there to perform in these big events and is hunting for more. “I’ve learned that it takes a lot to be fast,” said Radamus. “I’ve learned how bad I want to be there. I’m going to go back to work, finish the season out strong and hopefully prepare myself for the next Olympics or next World Championships to be able to execute better than I did today.”
Sadly missing in the World Champs giant slalom were talented Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team athletes Ted Ligety, Tommy Ford and Ryan Cochran-Siegle, who all had the potential to take home medals in the event, but were back in the states due to injury, leaving Radamus as the sole U.S. man in the race.
The World Champs GS was supposed to be Ligety’s final event in his storied career, having announced his retirement at the beginning of the World Championships, but back problems made it impossible for him to race. His legacy lives on though, with an impressive five World Championships golds, seven World Champs medals, and two Olympic golds. His rivals and friends, such as Bode Miller, Marcel Hirscher, and Felix Neureuther, paid tribute to him throughout the day, congratulating him on such an impressive career and wishing him luck with his future endeavors.
Ford, who had snagged a giant slalom podium and multiple top-10 results in GS earlier this season, was injured in early January after a bad crash in Adelboden. Cochran-Siegle had a bad crash in Kitzbuehel, Austria that broke his cervical spine and he is also recovering at home.
Only the slalom races remain in the 2021 World Championships, with the women racing on Saturday and men on Sunday.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Saturday, Feb. 20
4:00 a.m. FIS World Alpine Championships Women's Slalom - run 1 - LIVE, Cortina d'Ampezzo, ITA, Broadcast Olympic Channel
7:30 a.m. FIS World Alpine Championships Women's Slalom - run 2 - LIVE, Cortina d'Ampezzo, ITA, Broadcast Olympic Channel
5:00 p.m. FIS World Alpine Championships Women's Slalom - same-day broadcast, Cortina d'Ampezzo, ITA, Broadcast NBCSN
Sunday, Feb. 21
4:00 a.m. FIS World Alpine Championships Men' Slalom - run 1 - LIVE, Cortina d'Ampezzo, ITA, Broadcast Olympic Channel
6:30 a.m. FIS World Alpine Championships Men's Slalom - run 1- same-day broadcast, Cortina d'Ampezzo, ITA, Broadcast NBCSN
7:30 a.m. FIS World Alpine Championships Men's Slalom - run 2 - LIVE, Cortina d'Ampezzo, ITA, Broadcast NBCSN
12:00 p.m. FIS World Alpine Championships Women's Slalom - next-day broadcast, Cortina d'Ampezzo, ITA, Broadcast NBC