Team Ireland Winter Olympics: Irish skiers in action

Team Ireland Winter Olympics: Irish Skiers In Action Team Ireland Winter Olympics: Irish Skiers In Action
Ireland's Jack Gower. Photo: INPHO
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Digital Desk Staff

Today saw two Alpine Skiers in action for Ireland at the Winter Olympics, with Jack Gower competing in the Downhill event which was rescheduled from yesterday morning, and Tess Arbez in the Giant Slalom.

Both competitions were based in the Yangqing zone and produced mixed results for Team Ireland. Gower was 31st in the Men’s Downhill, while a clip of a gate resulted in an DNF for Tess Arbez in the Women’s Giant Slalom. This is the third day of the Winter Olympic Games, and the second day of competition for Team Ireland.

The Men’s Downhill event started at an altitude of 2179m with a vertical drop of 894m over a distance of 3152m, resulting in a challenging Olympic course. Starting in 37th place Gower produced a solid clean performance in the race, finishing 31st with a time of 1.47.61, which was 4.92 seconds behind the eventual winner Beat Feuz of Switzerland. Johan Clarey (France) won the silver medal, and the podium was rounded off with Austria’s Matthias Mayer.


Making his Olympic debut the former Junior World Champion in Downhill was disappointed to not have finished higher,

“I’m pretty disappointed with today, but I’m lucky I have more events, and I’ll try and do a better job in the next few days. It’s a great course, it’s a challenging course, the snow makes it a lot easier, but there are tricky aspects to it, so it’s a great Olympic downhill course, and it was fun to ski.”

His favourite event is the Super-G, in which he competes tomorrow. This is a similar event insofar as it is based on speed, but the speed is not as fast, and it is more technical, with the gates closer together.

“I’m definitely skiing a higher level in Super-G than Downhill, so we will see what happens tomorrow, but I will be looking forward to that one.”

Tess Arbez started her Olympic campaign in the Giant Slalom, unfortunately being marked as a DNF following a fall in the second intermediate. The Giant Slalom, run on a course ironically named the ‘Ice River’, witnessed many casualties in the first run, with nineteen athletes not finishing the technical run.


Sweden’s Sara Hector scored the fastest time in the first run, with 57.56, followed by Katharina Truppe (Austria) with 57.86 and Federica Brignone (Italy) with 57.98. Sixty athletes will compete in the second run later today, with the scores in both runs being added together to determine the overall winner. Arbez, who finished 38th in this event in Pyeongchang in 2018 was disappointed with her run, saying,

“I feel really disappointed right now, the conditions were so tricky out there, it was very icy. A lot of people came down, and it felt very different to how it was the past few days. I know I’m really pleased to be at my second Olympics, but it is hard. I will process what happened in the run with my coach and refocus so that I can be ready for the Slalom on Wednesday.”

Later today Elsa Desmond competes in the Women’s Singles Luge Run 1 and Run 2, with the times being tallied along with Run 3 and 4 tomorrow night to give an overall total. Luge is a sport where the athlete lies on their back in a supine position and propels themselves down a track – the Beijing distance for women in 0.75 miles, or 1,207 metres.

RESULTS – Sunday 6 February:

Alpine Skiing

Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1

First – Sara Hector (SWE) 57.56

Second – Katharina Brignone (AUT) 57.86 (+0.30)

Third - Federica Brignone (ITA) 57.98 (+0.42)

DNF – Tess Arbez (IRL)

Men’s Downhill

Gold – Beat Feuz (SUI) 1.42.69

Silver – Johan Clarey (FRA) 1.42.79 (+0.1)

Bronze – Matthias Mayer (AUT) 1.42.85 (+0.16)

31 – Jack Gower (IRL) 1.47.61 (+4.92)



11:50 Irish Time (19:50 Beijing) Run 1 – Elsa Desmond #27

13:30 Irish Time (21:30 Beijing) Run 2 – Elsa Desmond #TBC

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