Superb Aamodt takes fourth Alpine skiing gold
It was 14 years since Kjetil Andre Aamodt had made his Olympic Winter Games debut in Albertville, where he had won the super G. A decade later, he had taken two further victories in Salt Lake City and in Turin he was in search of a fourth gold medal, a tally that no Alpine skier had ever achieved before.
He was now a veteran, though, for at the age of 34 there were plenty wondering whether Aamodt would still be able to reach the heights needed for Olympic success. He didn't win a medal in his first event, the downhill, but fourth place was an encouraging finish.
The super-G came next. It started in snow, which became steadily heavier. Eventually, after 15 skiers had tried, the run was cancelled and the event re-started later that day.
Bode Miller went off 23rd but straddled a gate and did not finish. Two skiers later and it was Aamodt's turn, setting the pace with a time of 1min 30.65secs. The last seed to go was Hermann Maier, perhaps the most acclaimed super-G skier of all time. Maier had not skied in the 2002 Olympics after he was seriously injured in a motorbike accident, and he was desperate to reassert his status as the sport's greatest competitor. It was not to be Maier's day, though, as he missed Aamodt's time by 0.13secs.
It was the fourth gold medal of Aamodt's career, and the eighth medal overall – both of them records for an Alpine skier. He didn't retire from top-level skiing until the following season, having competed in the sport for two decades. He finished in the top-ten of World Cup races on 231 occasions, an all-time record.