Frenchwoman Marion Rolland is the new downhill female champion, having beaten silver medal winner Italian Nadia Fanchini and bronze medallist Maria Höfl-Riesch from Germany in a time of 1 min 50.00 seconds in Schladming yesterday.
“Winning the gold medal is unbelievable, really,” gushed an ecstatic Rolland at the Austrian resort. “Like all young champions, I dreamed about it. When I was young, I used to picture myself lifting the gold medal. You must believe in dreams coming true and keep fighting to achieve them. Above everything else, I wanted to win a gold medal here.”
Her success did not go unnoticed by her president back home. François Hollande hailed the “great exploit” of the skier, who became the first French woman to win the title since Marielle Goitschel in 1966. “Her performance bears witness to the excellence of French skiing,” said a declaration from the Elysee Palace.
“She has been preparing for this race for a long time,” said Nicolas Burtin, head of the speed section of the women’s French team, “and she had done one hell of a job since last year. She had podium finishes here last year and she knows that it’s a course that suits her. Mentally, she has achieved something extraordinary. When it’s a result that you are expecting and preparing for, then it’s brilliant! She did a very precise run, she didn’t invent or diversify… She had to get over her fall in Vancouver because it was really a difficult time for her. She knew that was able to do it. She is able to succeed on any descent. This pressure is going to be a positive one for her. I hope that she enjoys this moment – she’s champion of the world! It’s just fantastic!”
This is the third medal for France at these events, after the silver for Gauthier de Tessières and the bronze for David Poisson in the men’s downhill.
How Austrian Television Saw Marion’s Winning Descent: