It was a Scandinavian showdown for the gold in sunny Cortina d’Ampezzo, with Norway pulling out the victory over Sweden after Swede Kristoffer Jakobsen almost collided with Norwegian Sebastian Foss Solevaag while they were racing and Norway asked for a re-run. Foss Solevaag turned on the gas in his re-run to take the win, which earned Norway the gold and Sweden the silver. Germany won bronze in the small final, beating out defending team event World Champion Switzerland.
The silver medal gives Sweden more medals in the mixed team event than any other nation in the history of the event, only missing the podium twice since 2005. Today was a bit of redemption for the Swedes as one of the two times they missed the podium was in 2019 on home snow in Are (SWE).
The surprise of these World Championships, Germany, continued its medal roll, earning the bronze medal by a razor thin margin against Switzerland. Switzerland entered today’s race as the defending World Champion, but the switch from the mixed team event being staged as a giant slalom meant there weren’t many familiar faces on the Swiss squad to defend that title. In fact, all three medalists from 2019, Switzerland, Austria and Italy, failed to make the podium again this year.
For Norway, today’s victory was huge for the team morale. The Norwegians have had massive bad luck with injuries this season, especially on the men’s side. Today’s team win gave the Attacking Vikings reason to smile again.
The U.S. Alpine Ski Team took sixth in the 2021 FIS Alpine Ski World Championships team event with Paula Moltzan, Nina O’Brien, AJ Hurt, River Radamus, and Luke Winters making up the American team.
After Moltzan’s near-miss of the medals in Tuesday’s individual parallel race, the team was fired up to avenge her fourth-place finish. They beat Russia and continued to the quarterfinal where they faced Norway and lost to the eventual winners. However, spirits were high all around in the fun event and the athletes and coaches are excited about the future in the newer discipline, which had its Olympic debut in PyeongChang and will be contested again in Beijing next year. “With the women's squad, they’re really strong. We have a chance in any of them,” said Men’s World Cup Tech Head Coach Forest Carey. “We have some younger guys that have been embracing the parallel and training it. Today wasn’t the day obviously, but we do have a younger crew that’s engaged and psyched about the parallel. Hopefully, we can catch up to the women and put together a strong team by China.”
Moltzan, a two-time NCAA First Team All-American for the University of Vermont, loved that the race’s team mentality reminded her of racing in the NCAA system. “It really brings me back to my college days,” she said. "When you race college, you’re always racing for a team as well as an individual. Pushing out of the start gate, I was more nervous today than I was all day yesterday. It’s a lot more pressure when you’re carrying a team or working with a team because it’s not just you you’re going to let down, you’re letting down the whole team. I had a lot of fun doing it today though.”
The team event wrapped the parallel segment of the World Championships, with all eyes turning towards the traditional tech events.
Cortina offered up another day of beautiful sunny skies, although the warmer temperatures from the last few days left the snow a little slower than earlier in the World Championships. Nevertheless, the 15 entered teams put on a solid show with very few DNFs and many down-to-the-wire finishes.