Bend skier wraps up Olympics

Laurenne Ross does not finish a tough super-G course

From staff and wire reports /

Last speed event today

Aksel Lund Svindal and Bode Miller get another shot at Sochi Olympic medals in today’s super-G, the last speed race on the alpine schedule. Svindal has won six of the nine super-G races over the past two World Cup seasons. Miller finished second in his most recent super-G.

Neither was pleased with what happened in the Sochi downhill, when Norway’s Svindal was fourth, and the American Miller was eighth. World champion Ted Ligety of the United States is also worth watching.

— The Associated Press

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Bend’s Laurenne Ross was one of 18 skiers who did not finish their runs in the women’s super-G Saturday at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Julia Mancuso led Team USA once again, posting the best American finish in eighth at a rough and unforgiving super-G, the final women’s speed event of the Sochi Games.

Another difficult course set plus temperatures in the 40s yielded soft, rutted snow and DNFs in seven of the first eight racers, including Ross, who was the seventh skier down the course in the field of 50.

“It was tough out there today, for sure,” Ross said. “It was definitely a battle. It’s a really difficult hill and a really difficult set, so it was a big challenge for everybody. I think especially running at the beginning of the race is really hard when it’s a race like that. So I came out there and gave it everything I had and stuff happens when you’re going for it. So, I don’t have any regrets.”

Austrian Anna Fenninger dialed it in to win the gold medal on the inconsistent course, as German Maria Hoefl-Riesch took silver and Austrian Nicole Hosp claimed bronze.

Mancuso (Squaw Valley, Calif.) has led the U.S. women in all alpine speed events at the Rosa Khutor mountain venue, and she earned bronze in the super combined.

“The course is very difficult as you can see, as well as the changing conditions,” Mancuso said of the super-G. “For my run, I think I watched too many people have bad runs and it got to me.”

Ross finished 11th in the downhill on Wednesday - her best downhill result of the season - and posted a DNF in the super combined on Monday. The super-G was her final event of the Winter Games.

“Just to be here competing at the Olympics has been incredible, and although only the top three places count, I have learned so much over these past few days,” Ross said.

U.S. skier Leanne Smith (North Conway, N.H.) was the first racer to make it down the super-G course cleanly Saturday, but finished 18th after the rest of the field adjusted to the rapidly changing snow conditions. Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, Calif.) did not finish.

The women’s super-G race will be featured on NBC’s primetime Olympic coverage tonight at 8 p.m. and can be streamed in its entirety on NBCOlympics.com.