|Date||15 February 2018 — 11:30|
|Location||Jeongseon Alpine Centre, Mountain Cluster, Bukpyeong (Jeongseon Downhill)|
|Participants||55 from 26 countries|
|Course Setter||Hannes Trinkl||IFR|
Length: 2,965 m
Start Altitude: 1,370 m
Vertical Drop: 825 m
Originally the men’s downhill was scheduled for 11 February and should have been the first Alpine skiing event, as is usual at the Olympics, but heavy winds caused a postponement, so the race was held after the men’s Combined. The course was not long and considered somewhat easy, but with a lot of jumps. In fact, with a winning time of 1:40.25 it was the shortest men’s downhill in Olympic history. As at Sochi in 2014 the run was designed by 1972 Olympic downhill gold medalist Bernhard Russi. He made a course with a lot of jumps, including four big jumps, and the racers felt that it could not be compared with tracks in Europe or North America.
Seven out of nine events of the undergoing downhill World Cup were already held and the standings saw Beat Feuz, who won races in Lake Louise, Wengen, and Garmisch, in the lead; followed by Aksel Lund Svindal, winner in Beaver Creek and Val Gardena; Dominik Paris, winner in Bormio; and Thomas Dreßen, winner in Kitzbühel. The last downhill World Cup winners were Peter Fill in 2016/17, while the Norwegians Jansrud (2015) and Svindal (2014) were still formidable. Feuz was also the 2017 World Champion, following his compatriot Patrick Küng, who won in 2015. The pre-Olympic downhill race held in February 2016 was won by Jansrud.
The starting order for speed events was changed since the last Olympics. The top 10 racers of the World Cup Starting List (WCSL), beginning with the leader, could choose an odd bib number from 1-19, while the next ten racers from the WCSL could choose an even bib number from 2-20. The run changed in the days after the delay, becoming faster and the jumps were wider, and the race was decided from the second big jump to the end. Wind was still a factor, but at the end the top six of the WCSL finished in the top six.
Svindal won gold for Norway, which was the last men’s Olympic Alpine skiing gold missing for that country. He also became the first man to win both speed events at the Olympics after his Super G gold medal from Vancouver in 2010 and he became the oldest Olympic Alpine skiing champion ever, at 35-051. Together with Jansrud in second place it was the first gold-silver double for a nation in downhill since Pirmin Zurbriggen and Peter Müller finished 1-2 for Switzerland at Calgary in 1988. Svindal won this race with an average speed of 106.47 km/h and was 3.54 metres ahead of Jansrud at the finish line. Both Norwegians and the Swiss Feuz raced skis from Head giving it a sweep.
|1||7||Aksel Lund Svindal||NOR||1:40.25||Gold|
|15||12||Aleksander Aamodt Kilde||NOR||1:42.18|
|34||40||Henrik von Appen||CHI||1:44.02|
|47||57||Simón Breitfuss Kammerlander||BOL||1:47.87|