JEONGSEON, South Korea — Bend’s Tommy Ford finished 20th in the men’s giant slalom Sunday at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre at the Pyeongchang Games.
Competing in his second Olympics, Ford was in 28th place after his first run, then moved up to 20th by the end of the competition after a solid second run for a combined time of 2 minutes, 21.63 seconds.
Marcel Hirscher of Austria won the gold medal with a combined time of 2:18.04, Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway took silver (1.27 seconds behind) and Alexis Pinturault of France claimed bronze, 1.31 back.
Ted Ligety of the U.S., a two-time Olympic gold medalist, finished a disappointing 15th, 3.21 seconds behind Hirscher.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle was the top American, placing 11th, 2.70 seconds behind.
Ford — who placed 10th at a World Cup giant slalom race in Beaver Creek, Colorado, in December — was considered a long shot to win a medal. He placed in the top 30 in two other World Cup giant slalom races this season.
An eight-time national champion who finished 26th at the Vancouver Games, Ford missed the entire 2013-14 racing season, including the 2014 Sochi Olympics, after fracturing his right femur while skiing in the French Alps in January 2013.
Ford returned to racing in 2014-15, and he boasted three top-15 giant slalom finishes in World Cup competition last season in Europe.
Ford, 28, grew up skiing with the Bend-based Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation along with current U.S. teammate Laurenne Ross, the Bend skier who finished 15th in the women’s super-G in Pyeongchang on Saturday. He said in a recent interview with The Bulletin that he and Ross have been dating for more than two years, connected by their ski racing careers and their love of the outdoors in Central Oregon.
Ross finished 12th in the first women’s downhill training run on Sunday, increasing her chances of earning a start in the downhill on Wednesday (Tuesday evening Pacific time) at the Winter Games. Two more downhill training runs are scheduled before the event. Ross’ U.S. teammate Lindsey Vonn finished first in Sunday’s downhill training run. Alice McKennis, also of the U.S., placed third.
Ford is not expected to compete in any other events at the Pyeongchang Games.