Gold for Canada’s James Crawford in Super-G at 2023 World Championships in Courchevel & Méribél, France

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Canada Courchevel
James Crawford being celebrated by the Canadian Team at the 2023 World Championships | Picture: Head Rebels Instagram Account

The 2023 World Championships in Courchevel and Méribél moved into the fourth day with the Men’s Super-G event. Thursday’s Men’s Super-G was held on a different slope to Wednesday’s Women’s Super-G, more specifically, the L’Eclipse. The race course was built specifically for the Men’s speed events of the 2023 World Championships and was used for the first time in last year’s World Cup Finals in March 2022.

Its dimensions already make it one of the most impressive and demanding pistes on the world circuit, alongside the Streif in Kitzbühel and the Stelvio in Bormio. For instance, the average slope of the course is 30%, while the Streif has an average gradient of 27%. The challenging piste features technically difficult jumps and alternating zones of light and shade as the first section is in the open, then passes through a dense forest before returning to the sunshine towards the finish line at Le Praz. Le Praz is a picturesque village full of wooden chalets at the foot of the mountain.

Thursday’s Super-G field comprised 56 skiers. The favorite for the race was Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt, who currently leads the 22/23 World Cup season’s Super-G standings by 148 points in front of Aleksander Aamodt Kilde. Odermatt missed out on the podium by 0.11 seconds. But it was Canada’s James Crawford who took the surprise victory on L’Eclipse, only 0.01 seconds ahead of Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde. The 25-year-old World Champion has only had three World Cup podiums in his career so far, two second places and one third. Bronze went to France’s Alexis Pinturault, who had won Tuesday’s Combined event.

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The Men’s Super-G Podium at the 2023 World Championships: 1st James Crawford, 2nd Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, 3rd Alexis Pinturault | Picture: Head Rebels Instagram Account

It was the first-ever victory in Super-G for the Canadian, and in an interview with FIS, James Crawford said:

“It’s really unbelievable! I haven’t had the best few weeks leading up into this and today I was able to kinda get rid of the pressure that I have been putting on myself and really just ski. It feels amazing. I know Canadians have always been pretty good at World Championship, but for my first win to come at a World Championships… it’s pretty amazing!”

His comment, of course, alludes to Erik Guay’s World Championship victories in the 2017 Super-G in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and 2011 Downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. 

Team USA had three skiers finish in the top 20, with River Radamus, Kyle Negomir, and Ryan Cochran-Siegel taking 16th, 17th, and 18th place. Travis Ganong came in 30th. Unfortunately, ten skiers did not finish the race, including Norway’s Atle Lie McGrath, who injured his left knee and will have to pull out of the remainder of the World Championships.

Friday, February 10, 2023, will be a training day for the Downhill for both the Men and Women. Mikaela Shiffrin has announced that she will not start in the Downhill, focussing on the Giant-Slalom and Slalom events instead next week. We will report back once starting lists are announced.

James Crawford
James’ Jack’ Crawford with the Super-G trophy at the 2023 World Championships | Picture: Head Rebels Instagram Account

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