|Date||7 February 2022 — 12:00|
|Location||Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre, West Dazhuangke, Zhangshanying, Yanqing District (Rock)|
|Participants||42 from 20 countries|
Despite the postponement by one day due to strong winds, the men’s downhill was the first medal decision in Alpine skiing at the Beijing Winter Games. It was not the first race at this Games, as the first run of the women’s giant slalom had already been held, but the men’s downhill was held before the second run.
The downhill piste, named “Rock”, was again created by Bernhard Russi, this time assisted by Didier Défago, and Russi called the slope comparable to the Birds of Prey in Beaver Creek. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no races on the piste before Beijing, as the World Cup events planned for February 2020 had to be cancelled. Therefore, the slope was brand new for all racers and only two training runs could be held as the third one was cancelled due to strong winds.
The downhill World Cup since the last Olympics in South Korea had been dominated by Beat Feuz, who had won all four downhill Crystal Globes since then (2018-2021). The last two World champions, however, were Kjetil Jansrud (2019 in Åre) and Vincent Kriechmayr (2021 in Cortina d’Ampezzo).
The ongoing World Cup of the current season saw eight downhills held with six different winners and only Aleksander Aamodt Kilde was able to win more than one race with wins in Beaver Creek, Wengen 1, and Kitzbühel 1. The other races were won by Matthias Mayer (Lake Louise), Bryce Bennett (Val Gardena), Dominik Paris (Bormio), Vincent Kriechmayr (Wengen 2), and Beat Feuz (Kitzbühel 2). The results put Kilde at the top of the standings, followed by Feuz, Mayer, and Odermatt (who finished second in three races).
Of the medallists from PyeongChang, the Norwegians Aksel Lund Svindal (gold) had retired in February 2019 and Kjetil Jansrud (silver) did not start after still recovering from an injury following a fall in early December 2021. This led to only Feuz (bronze) participating in the Beijing race. The first training run was won by Stefan Rogentin, but Kilde set the best time by winning the second training run with 1:43.72.
The race started with only 42 competitors, the fewest ever for this event, and was held in good conditions with the wind not being a factor on race day. Kriechmayr with bib number 1 set the early pace but was overtaken by his compatriot Mayer, with Kilde placing between them and the surprising Jack Crawford, only seven-hundredths of a second behind Mayer. Feuz started with bib number 13 and put in a great performance, and took the lead by 16/100ths. Paris and Odermatt were not able to get into a podium position and the last racer of the top group was French veteran Johan Clarey. He finished second, just 1/10th behind Feuz, knocking Crawford off the podium, who finally finished fourth.
Feuz won the race with an average speed of 110.50 km/h and 3.07 metres ahead of Clarey. The first four finishers all used Head skis while Kilde in fifth place raced Atomic. Clarey, already the second oldest male Olympic Alpine skier to participate in Beijing, became the oldest Alpine skiing medallist ever at 41-030. Boštjan Kline, who finished 10th, achieved the best ever result for a male Slovenian downhiller and Adur Etxezarreta archived the same for Spain with his 17th place.
|5||11||Aleksander Aamodt Kilde||NOR||1:43.20|
|=11||22||Adrian Smiseth Sejersted||NOR||1:43.82|
|32||35||Henrik von Appen||CHI||1:47.69|
|34||40||Simón Breitfuss Kammerlander||BOL||1:48.26|