Sweden’s Adam Hofstedt claimed victory in the men’s Super-G on Friday and swiftly declared that he sees no reason why he cannot complete a clean sweep of Alpine skiing individual gold medals.
The 17-year-old arrived in Lausanne knowing he was in good form and that quiet confidence translated into a smooth, powerful display at the Les Diablerets Alpine Centre.
“I wanted a podium at least,” said Hofstedt who completed the shortened, 1100m course in 54.56 seconds. “I felt really good, no mistakes, one of my best runs ever.”
It was just enough to secure the teenager his targeted gold, as he finished 0.06 seconds ahead of Slovenian Rok Aznoh with Luc Roduit (SUI) grabbing bronze to complete an impressive day for the host nation on the slopes.
If Hofstedt has his way however, that is as close as anyone else is going to get to the top step of the podium.
“I want more,” Hofstedt said. “I like all the disciplines, slalom I have been doing great,
everything else good too though. Other people have won many golds, no reason I can’t. That’s the goal, four golds.”
It is a mighty ambition and should he achieve it Hofstedt would go one better than River Radamus (USA) who claimed a record-setting three individual Alpine skiing gold medals at the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games. But none of that intimidates the softly spoken Swede.
“I am a pretty calm person, I like to live in the moment,” said Hofstedt who will go into Saturday’s slalom run in the combined as a clear favourite, with Friday’s Super-G run giving him a 0.06 second advantage over the field.
Slovenia’s Aznoh will be looking to somehow disturb that equanimity, having come agonisingly close to securing the biggest win of his career. The good news is that he knows where he can improve.
“I am not totally happy, in the steep middle part of the course I should have stepped more on the outside of my skis,” Aznoh said. “The parts where you have to let it go is normally where I am best.”
Aznoh was one of many to praise the Les Diablerets slope and it certainly proved to be to the liking of the home skiers. Just hours after compatriot and club teammate Amelie Klopfenstein had stormed to victory in the women’s Super-G, Swiss men’s star Roduit gave the noisy crowd something else to shout about.
“She gave me lots of energy, it was amazing, yesterday she was sick, we were not expecting the podium from her,” Roduit said of Klopfenstein before explaining just what it is like to ski in a home Youth Olympic Games.
“It was like the first race of the season for me, there were so many nerves but I wasn’t scared and the nerves actually helped,” he said.
Even so, the Versegeres resident will not be celebrating his bronze medal yet. Like rival Hofstedt he “wants more”.