Austrian skier Fritz Strobl was the surprise winner of the Olympic gold medal in the men's downhill skiing event at Snowbasin, Utah, Sunday. Strobl beat Norway's Lasse Kjus and World Cup downhill champion Stephane Eberharter to take the top prize.
Many thought that Stephane Eberharter would be the man to beat on the course called the Grizzly. But in the end it was another Austrian, Fritz Strobl who mastered the treacherous course in the fastest time, finishing in 1:39.13.
Norway's Lasse Kjus took the silver medal, .22 of a second back. Eberharter won the bronze (1:39.41). After the race, Strobl, speaking through a translator, said that he was not thinking about beating his countryman, just skiing his best race. "I do not want to talk about the feeling of beating Stephane Eberharter or any teammate," he says. "I am not out to beat anybody when I ski. When I ski I simply want to ski well. And if indeed I am lucky and I ski well, then I think the result as I showed today is excellent."
Overall, Austria had three racers in the top six and four in the top 20. The top U.S. finisher was Marco Sullivan, who finished ninth, 1.24 seconds off the winner.