Marie-Michèle Gagnon 8th in the women’s downhill

ZHANGJIAKOU | Even though she obtained the best result of her career at the Olympic Games, Marie-Michèle Gagnon wonders about the significant gap that separated her from the winner.

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Gagnon took the 8and rank of the descent, the start of which was delayed by 30 minutes due to strong winds and interrupted for another half hour due to a serious fall by the French skier Camille Cerutti.

Marie-Michele Gagnon

“An 8and place is a great result, but I really wanted more, mentioned the skier from Lac-Etchemin. I skied for more. I knew that my provisional third place wouldn’t hold because there were still very good girls after me, but I didn’t think there would be such a big gap with the winner. »

Marie-Michelle Gagnon on the Zhangjiakou track on Tuesday where she signed her best position in the Olympic downhill.

Photo: AFP

Marie-Michelle Gagnon on the Zhangjiakou track on Tuesday where she signed her best position in the Olympic downhill.

Gagnon couldn’t fathom the 1.6s gap that separated her from Switzerland’s Corinne Suter who won gold.

“We had very, very similar runs and I can’t see how I could have done better,” she said. There were a few small differences, but we had the same line of attack. When there is such a discrepancy, one can usually easily identify the errors, but this is not the case. »

Marie-Michele Gagnon

“I’m confused,” added Gagnon, whose best result at the Games was an 8th place in slalom in 2014 in Sochi. It won’t change the result, but we will have to analyze the two rounds more closely to try to find answers. I want to know. »

Food for thought

Gagnon identifies a few factors that could explain this discrepancy.

“Was the track faster after my passage? she wondered. For men, the best results were recorded by skiers who started later because the track was faster the longer the day progressed. Was my skis or the wind a factor? Unlike one of my last World Cup races, I didn’t feel the wind was a factor. »

Starting with bib number 27, Camille Cerutti suffered a violent fall when she lost control upon landing a jump. Her cries of pain as she slipped through the protective nets caused dismay.

30 minute break

The race was interrupted for 30 minutes, the time to allow the medical team to evacuate the Frenchwoman on a stretcher.

“I saw the fall, but I quickly turned around, I didn’t watch the replay and I didn’t ask for information,” Gagnon said. Because I have suffered serious injuries during my career, it causes me anxiety when I see incidents like this. I hope it will be correct. »

The France team published the diagnosis on their Twitter feed.

“Following his downhill fall, Camille Cerutti suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and an injury to the medial meniscus of his right knee. She will be repatriated as soon as possible to France. »

No alpine combined

Gagnon will not take the start of the alpine combined which will take place tonight.

“I did not prepare myself, explained the former specialist in technical events. With the presence of several good downhillers, it would take a stroke of luck for me to win a medal. I’m going to prepare for the next World Cup and I’m going straight back to Europe. Unlike most athletes, I will not have the pleasure of returning home,” she concluded.

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