Jack Crawford raises his arms in celebration as he crosses the finish lineAP Photo/Luca Bruno
AP Photo/Luca Bruno

Canadian Jack Crawford narrowly misses podium in men’s Olympic downhill

It was heartbreak with a touch of satisfaction for Canadian Jack Crawford in the men’s downhill at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing on Monday.

The 24-year-old from Toronto missed the podium by seven one-hundredths of a second (0.07) after laying down a near flawless run on the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre course nicknamed The Rock.

Crawford had a narrow but brief lead at one point in the upper part of the 3152-metre course with a vertical drop of 894 metres, but time slipped away through the lower gates. He posted the second fastest time when he crossed the finish line but watched helplessly as his placing fell to third, then to fourth.

Jack Crawford skis past a gate in the downhill
James Crawford, of Canada, makes a turn in the men’s downhill at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, in the Yanqing district of Beijing. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)

“Not that fun,” he said of the wait. “When I crossed the finish line I was super excited. I knew it would be a decent day, but I also knew there were a lot of guys who were big threats (still to come). And it only took two. Hopefully I can bring it out tomorrow and ski the way I’m skiing in super-G.”

Beat Feuz of Switzerland, who won two medals at PyeongChang 2018, including bronze in the downhill, navigated the 40-gate course in one minute 42.69 seconds to take the gold medal. Johan Clarey of France finished second in 1:42.79 and two-time Olympic gold medallist Matthias Mayer of Austria was third in 1:42.85. At 41, Clarey becomes the oldest Olympic medallist ever in alpine skiing.

Crawford finished in 1:42.92. Broderick Thompson, 27, of Whistler lost an edge and fell about halfway down the course and did not finish. He wasn’t injured. The third Canadian, Brodie Seger of Whistler, B.C., finished just out of the top 20, placing 22nd in 1:44.68.

“Until I went out it felt pretty good,” Thompson said of his run. “I was feeling strong, pushing the limit. Maybe a bit too much at the end there.”

Seger was naturally disappointed in his run “because I know I have the potential to do better, especially seeing Jack’s result today. I know I can be on par with him. But I had some nerves playing with me a bit today because I crashed in training… that was definitely on my mind …definitely a learning experience.

All three Canadians will race in tomorrow’s super giant slalom.