|Date||14 February 1980 — 11:30|
|Location||Whiteface Mountain Ski Area, Lake Placid (Olympic Downhill)|
|Participants||47 from 22 countries|
|Course Setter||Charlie Kahr||AUT|
|Venue details||Gates: 34|
Length: 3009 m
Start Altitude: ?
Vertical Drop: 832 m
There was no clear favorite, but one thing was certain, the Austrians had the best team. Of the top 20 ranked downhillers, seven were Austrian. The 1976 champion, Franz Klammer, had been the world’s best from 1975-78 but his performances had fallen off, and he was not chosen for Lake Placid. The Austrians chose four skiers with Leonhard Stock picked as an alternate. But his training performances were better than all the other skiers so he was moved up to start in the downhill, dropping Sepp Walcher, the 1978 World Champion, from the start. Stock started ninth, with the lead at that time held by Italy’s Herbert Plank, but Stock bettered his time by 1.63 seconds to take the lead. And it held up, giving him a very surprising gold medal. He had never won a World Cup race, and would not win another international downhill event until 1989. Another Austrian, Peter Wirnsberger, took silver, with Werner Grissmann seventh, and Harti Weirather ninth. The bronze medal went to one of “The Crazy Canucks,” Steve Podborski, the first Canadian man to win an Olympic medal in Alpine skiing.
|19||26||Arnt Erik Dale||NOR||1:49.26|
|27||29||Francisco Fernández Ochoa||ESP||1:50.69|
|AC||42||Scott Alan Sánchez||BOL||–|