Winter Olympics: Irish in action on Day Six

Jack Gower produces Ireland’s best Alpine Skiing result ever in Alpine Combined event

Ireland’s Jack Gower in action during the Slalom portion of the men’s Alpine Combined competition. Photograph: EPA

Jack Gower, the sole Team Ireland athlete in action on Thursday, finished 12th overall in the Alpine Combined event at the Winter Olympic Games.

Competing in his first Olympics, Gower started the day strong finishing 14th in the Downhill, before going two places better in the Slalom, finishing with an overall time of 2:37.74 and Ireland’s best Alpine Skiing result ever.

A Winter Olympic result only bettered by Clifton Wrottesley who finished fourth in the Skeleton in 2002.

The Alpine Combined is an event where athletes compete in the Downhill speed event as well as the more technical Slalom, and the overall winner is the fastest racer once the race times are combined.

Jack Gower competes in the men’s Alpine Combined downhill event during the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Photograph: Getty Images

Normally a Downhill specialist, Gower put down a clean run in the challenging and technical Slalom course, finishing 12th fastest in that run with a time of 52:58, placing him firmly inside his top 15 goal when it was combined with the earlier Downhill time of 1:45.16, resulting in an overall 12th fastest time of 2:37.74.

Pleased with his finish position, Gower said: “Twelfth at the Olympics, I mean that’s crazy - there’s 30,000 competitors in Alpine Skiing, to get 12th is . . . what can I say, it’s great.

“As an athlete you always want a little more. The downhill I had some really good sections and some slower sections, and the slalom was a real battle, so I would love to have done better. But at the same time 12th in the Olympics in such a competitive sport is huge, and I feel so grateful that I have had such huge support.”

On Friday Tess Arbez will compete in her last race of the Games, in the Super-G event. This is the first time that she will compete in this speed race in the Olympics. Thomas Maloney Westgaard is also in action, competing in his preferred event, the Cross-Country 15km Classic.

Men’s Alpine Combined overall

Gold - Johannes Strolz (AUT) 2:31.43
Silver - Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) 2:32.02 (+0.59)
Bronze - James Crawford (CAN) 2:32.11 (+0.68)
12th - Jack Gower (IRL) 2:37.74 (+6.31)