Alpine skiing at the 2006 Winter Olympics – Men's downhill
at the XX Olympic Winter Games
Pictogram for alpine skiing
|Competitors||55 from 25 nations|
|Vertical||914 m (2,999 ft)|
|Top elevation||2,800 m (9,186 ft)|
|Base elevation||1,886 m (6,188 ft)|
The men's downhill competition is the marquee outdoor event of the Winter Olympics, and is the first alpine event on the schedule. It consists of a single high-speed run down a challenging slope, with a vertical drop exceeding 800 meters (2,625 ft).
The defending Olympic champion was Fritz Strobl of Austria, the reigning world champion was Bode Miller of the United States; Austrian Michael Walchhofer was the defending World Cup downhill champion and led the current season entering the Olympics, ahead of Strobl and American Daron Rahlves.
The thirtieth racer on the course, Antoine Dénériaz of France won the gold medal, Walchhofer took the silver, and the bronze medalist was Bruno Kernen of Switzerland; Miller was fifth, Strobl eighth, and Rahlves tenth. Dénériaz's surprise win was by a margin of 0.72 seconds, the largest in this event in 42 years. He had entered the Olympics tied for tenth in the World Cup downhill standings; his best finish was seventh at Val Gardena in mid-December.
Held on the Kandahar Banchetta piste, the course started at an elevation of 2,800 m (9,186 ft) above sea level with a vertical drop of 914 m (2,999 ft) and a length of 3.299 km (2.05 mi). Dénériaz's winning time of 108.80 seconds yielded an average course speed of 109.158 km/h (67.8 mph), with an average vertical descent speed of 8.401 m/s (27.6 ft/s).
The race was started at 12:00 local time, (UTC +1). At the starting gate, the skies were partly cloudy, the temperature was −5.6 °C (22 °F), and the snow condition was hard; the temperature at the finish was 2.1 °C (36 °F).
- "Alpine Skiing at the 2006 Turin Winter Games: Men's Downhill". Sports Reference. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2010-03-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Fendrich, Howard (February 13, 2006). "Sacré bleu! Deneriaz springs surprise". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. p. D5.
- "Olympic report: Alpine skiing". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). wire services. February 13, 2006. p. C3.
- Layden, Tim (February 20, 2006). "Slow out of the gate". Sports Illustrated. p. 45.