Olympics 2022 | Ski star Odermatt rants: “Just ridiculous”

One day before the Olympic downhill run in Beijing, anger and incomprehension spread among the ski racers. Because the third and last training session was abruptly canceled on Saturday – ski star Marco Odermatt from Switzerland was upset.

At 11:00 a.m. local time, the third practice session for the downhill race on Sunday (4:00 a.m. CET) started as planned. Austrian Matthias Mayer was allowed to start. While the two-time Olympic champion still had problems with the ideal line, Italy’s Christof Innerhofer and Norway’s Alexander Aamodt Kilde followed, both of whom had good training impressions.

But then the race organizers suddenly stopped training because the wind was too strong, and Marco Odermatt felt deprived of an important opportunity: “We’ve been told for days that the wind in this area would drop at 12 o’clock. And now they’re breaking up 11:15 a.m. after two co-favorites were allowed to do a third practice run. It’s just unfair.”

Odermatt traveled to Beijing as the World Cup leader ahead of Kilde and Mayer, who now have one more training run in their legs. However, the jury did not accept the suggestion of the Swiss to complete a training run with a jacket and thick ski pants in order to slow down the descent. Rather: “After a few radio messages, the FIS simply switched off the devices. We didn’t get an answer, that’s bad.” It is questionable how the athletes are treated, according to Odermatt.

Race director Waldner defends himself against allegations

The 24-year-old therefore criticized: “If such decisions are made without sufficient justification before the theoretically most important competition in the last four years, without properly involving the athletes, it’s just ridiculous.”

FIS race director Markus Waldner justified the procedure: “I understand the athletes, but they also have to understand us. Our job is to protect them.” At 11 a.m. the conditions were still good enough to start, a postponement was out of the question. “Keeping the drivers here for hours and then they can’t drive after all? That wouldn’t have made any sense.”


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