Highlights from Aspen’s Downhill, as Norway’s Kilde Secures Downhill Crystal Globe

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Kilde Aspen
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde pushing out off the starting gate at the Aspen Downhill. | Picture: Atomic Skis Instagram Account

After Friday’s cancellation, Saturday’s Downhill race at Aspen, CO, went as planned. It was an eventful day with many highlights, but the biggest was probably the winner and favorite, Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, winning his 21st career World Cup and 8th season victory at Aspen’s Downhill course, securing him the 22/23 season Downhill Crystal Globe.

Kilde’s sensational 22/23 season follows an equally strong 21/22 season, where he won the Super-G and Downhill Crystal Globe reserved for the season’s points winner in each discipline. There is also a large Crystal Globe for the overall points winner across all disciplines, which Kilde managed to snatch in the 19/20 season. His start in the Downhill was so strong no one even came close to contesting his victory.

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde celebrating his winning time in the finish area at Aspen, CO. | Picture: Atomic Ski Instagram Account

Second place went to Canada’s James Crawford, 0.61 seconds behind Kilde. This is the Canadian’s third Downhill podium of the season and fourth career podium and follows on from his World Championships win in Super-G in Courchevel and Méribél, France, in February. Crawford is yet to win his first World Cup race, but given his strong performance this season, it will hopefully be in the cards for the 23/24 season.

Kilde’s arch-rival, Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt, came third, just 0.02 seconds behind the Canadian and 0.63 seconds behind the Norwegian. While the Swiss had to settle for third, Odermatt is poised to take the Overall Crystal Globe this season, ranking 346 points ahead of Kilde.

Kilde Odermatt Crawford
The Downhill Podium at the Aspen World Cup: 1st Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, 2nd James Crawford, 3rd Marco Odermatt. | Picture: Marco Odermatt Instagram Account

Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr, ranked second in Downhill behind Kilde, came in a disappointing fourth 0.70 seconds behind Kilde, putting him out of the race for the Crystal Globe, even if Friday’s canceled race is re-scheduled. Fifth went to third-ranked Johan Clarey from France, who, at 42, seems to show no signs of slowing down. This is his second podium of the 22/23 season, which marks his most successful season with two second places. The 2022 Beijing Olympic Silver medal winner is the oldest World Cup podium winner in FIS Alpine history.

Slightly younger at 41 but ready to retire, however, was Team USA ski racer Steven Nyman, who started for his last-ever World Cup run at Aspen. He opted for a fun run, sporting the famous US Downhiller vest, as he took his last career starting gate. Nyman skied comparably slowly down the Aspen Downhill run, stopping for hugs with members of Team USA along the way. He skied into the finish area to cheers, flags, and posters with all of the members of Team USA, from coaches to physios and service technicians, ending his 214th career race his very own way.


Teammate Bryce Bennett came in a strong 10th place — his best all season — while Sam Morse came in 14th place — his second-best career performance. Travis Ganong finished the Downhill race in 17th, Jared Goldberg in 19th, Ryan Cochran-Siegle in 27th, Erik Arvidsson in 42nd, and Kyle Negomir came 54th.

Steven Nyman
Steven Nyman in the Downhiller vest, hugging members of the US Alpine Team. | Picture: Screenshot Eurosport Video

Last but not least, we need to report some negative news from the races, as the crash by German skier Simon Jocher exposed some dangerous flaws in the race organization at Aspen. The German ski racer caught an edge at the bottom half of the course while going more than 60 miles an hour and flew through the B-nets towards the trees on the side of the course. Not only was the netting insufficient in a dangerous part of the course, but also procedural flaws were uncovered, as the following skier, France’s Nils Allègre, was not flagged down with the yellow flag to stop but instead raced to the bottom with part of the netting not standing, which is a huge security risk. Only after Allègre finished his run was the race halted to re-erect and re-enforce the net at the crash site.

Thankfully Jocher was okay, but his ski was utterly destroyed, the bottom half cleanly sheered off. It is unprecedented at a World Cup event that a subsequent skier was not flagged down while netting was not in place. We trust this will result in a review of procedures in Aspen, as this was dangerous for racers, spectators, and course officials.

Simon Jocher
Simon Jocher with the bottom half of the ski sheered clean off. | Picture: Screenshot Eurosport video
Member of the team in Aspen rushing to re-erect and re-enforce the net at the crash site. | Picture: screenshot from Eurosport video

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