It was 12 years ago here in Åre that Svindal won his first gold medal, and not just one but two, as he won both the downhill and giant slalom at Åre 2007, at the tender age of 24. Besides those two world champion titles, he has many good memories from many World Cups in Åre. Svindal loves to race in Åre, not least because of the many Norwegian fans that come to cheer for him here.
Over the years in the World Cup, Svindal has sustained a number of injuries, in particular in the last five years. Regardless, he won downhill gold just last season at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Add to that the Olympic gold he won in the super-G at Vancouver 2010 and further three world champion titles he’s won after 2007.
One of the greatest ski champions
Aksel’s list of achievements is long. He has 36 World Cup wins and a total of 80 podium appearances. Not to mention 12 medals at major events, 7 of them gold.
Super-G and downhill have undoubtedly been Svindal’s best events yet he’s won in all events expect slalom both in the World Cup and at the World Championships. He’s also a two-time overall World Cup champion (2007 and 2009), and has won the World Cup season title in the super-G no less than five times, the downhill title twice, and the giant slalom and combined globes each once. It is clearly a storied career that reaches its end when one of the sport’s all-time best retires here in Åre this weekend.
A long career on the world’s toughest slopes has also left its marks. In Svindal’s case this means bad knees and multiple operations. Åre 2019 will be his final attempt to give it his all at the highlight event of these World Ski Championships: the men’s downhill. Watch this space, Aksel remains a force to be reckoned with!
Career highlights: Aksel Lund Svindal
World Cup podiums: 80
World Cup wins: 36
World Championships medals: Eight, five gold
Olympic medals: Four, two gold
Overall World Cup titles: 2
Downhill World Cup titles: 2
Super-G World Cup titles: 5
Giant slalom World Cup titles: 1
Combined World Cup titles: 1
The men's Downhill starts at 12.30 CET.