The Beijing Olympic Winter Games came to a close on Sunday with the women's 30k Cross Country mass start. Throughout the Games, Atomic athletes won a total of 13 medals across all disciplines, underlining the depth and professionalism of the entire Atomic Team.
Sofia Goggia provided the comeback story of the Games: Despite a partial ACL, a minor fracture in the fibula, and a sprained knee joint, which she received two weeks before the Olympic Games during the Super G in Cortina d'Ampezzo. The 2018 downhill Olympic champion skied arguably the most courageous line of the entire starting field and only missed gold by just 16 hundredths of a second. The silver medal is a well-deserved reward for the Italian's hard work.
For Atomic Global Race Manager Christian Höflehner, "Sofia was amazing. At first, it was questionable whether she could start at all. Then her serviceman tested positive. Then on the third day of training, she had another serious fall, which became a challenge, especially mentally. After Zauchensee and Cortina, it was her third really heavy fall in a very short time - and everything was on a knife-edge. Considering this background, winning a medal can't be appreciated enough. Definitely a more than deserved silver medal."
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde finally celebrated his first Olympic medals: While a bronze in Super G was to be expected, the Norwegian surprised everyone in Alpine combined with a very strong slalom, which ultimately brought him the silver medal - even though the speed specialist had not been on slalom skis up for two years.
Aleks was clearly our most successful athlete at these Games.
He did a great job in the Super G, but the performance in the Combined was amazing. The slalom run was one of the highlights.
Aleks fulfilled a lifetime dream with his first medals. Which will certainly make things easier at the next Winter Games in Bormio - and then he will also be at the perfect age for a downhill skier," Höflehner is sure that there is more to come from the Norwegian.
First Games – First Medal for Mirjam Puchner.
The Austrian, whose season so far has been a rollercoaster ride, managed to be on a high at the Olympics with pinpoint accuracy, taking the silver medal in the Super G.
Mirjam became a podium candidate just this year. The fact that she won a Super G Medal at the Olympic Games is remarkable. - Christian Höflehner
Nadia Delago left China with a big smile on her face.
The bronze medal in the downhill behind compatriot Sofia Goggia was at least a small surprise despite five top 8 placements this winter.
But, for the 24-year-old, it was the first medal at a major event, and the first podium finish in her professional career.
The first congratulator, of course, was her sister Nicol, who finished in 11th.
"That was not to be expected. Nadia had never been on the World Cup podium before, although she came close a few times, but the fact that it worked out in Beijing was the perfect bonus to Sofia's silver medal", Höflehner is happy with the two Italians. "The women's downhill was generally the race where we were strongest in terms of material."
With six medals, the Nordic athletes were able to double their medal haul from Pyeongchang this time, even surpassing the Alpine athletes.
With one gold and one silver medal, cross-country skier Victoria Carl became the most successful Atomic athlete of this Winter Games.
After finishing second in the relay, the German went one better in the team sprint and, thanks to a strong sprint on the home straight, was crowned Olympic champion.
The Nordic combined athlete Manuel Faisst, who traveled belatedly to Beijing as a substitute, won the silver medal in the relay after finishing fourth in the individual competition on the large hill.
"I'll run until I vomit," announced Lukas Greiderer before the Normal Hill competition during his very first appearance at the Olympic Games. He finally extended himself on the home straight to the "near-death experience": "I've never run like that before!" And it paid off. "Luki" finished third and celebrated bronze.
Simen Hegstad Krüger caused a slight sensation at the end: The double Olympic champion from 2018, who was only able to travel to China late due to Corona, skated to the bronze medal in the 50-kilometer race, which was shortened to 28 kilometers due to the weather.
The first event for Freeski and arguably the most thrilling freestyle contest of the games was the Women's Big Air.
In a heated battle that saw the highest level of women's skiing to date, Tess Ledeux of France landed two high-level tricks of a left 1620 and switch 1440 to put her in 2nd place. Finishing out the Freeski events was Men's Halfpipe, and while battling out harsh conditions, favorite Nico Porteous landed the run he planned for during his first attempt.
Featuring his signature back-to-back double cork 1620 rotations, this run gave Nico a score of 93.00 and was enough to secure his first-ever Olympic Gold Medal. It was also the first men's gold medal at Winter Games for his home country New Zealand.