Conway Olympian Leanne Smith was the first racer to make it down the course cleanly Saturday but she finished 18th after the rest of the field adjusted to the rapidly changing snow conditions at the final women’s speed event of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
Smith’s teammate Julia Mancuso led Team USA, posting the best American finish (8th) on a course described as a “rough and unforgiving super G.”
The first seven racers did not finish. Temperatures were in the 40s.
Austrian Anna Fenninger took the gold medal.
Smith says “I’m happy with how I skied in the top section through the flat. I was attacking and in a good position. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, but with the speed and the heat coming into that break-over down here you get pushed really hard. Then everyone just makes the adjustments after you.
I knew it wasn’t going to last long. All you have to do is problem solve and watch me go down and make my mistakes and be the guinea pig. It’s how these later girls make the adjustment. The perfect start number is probably five or six. An eight to 15 draw is great typically because you want the course report.”