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Page last updated at 23:40 GMT, Sunday, 28 February 2010

Miller the star in Whistler

Bode Miller celebrates winning gold
Miller collected his first Olympic gold medal in the super combined

By Alain Baxter
Former Olympic skier and BBC commentator

I have been impressed with the alpine programme at the Vancouver Olympics - there were some incredibly close and exciting races with a mixture of overwhelming favourites and fresh faces winning the golds.

The piste conditions and weather have not always been at their best but it is always a tight schedule at a Winter Games and the organisers have done well to get all of the races done and dusted.

For me, Bode Miller has been the stand-out skier with his full set of medals - gold, silver and bronze in the combined, super-G and downhill.

When his head is in the right place he can do pretty much anything and he is an amazing skier to watch.

Anna Thompson's blog

I was not surprised the American team were so strong and topped the ski medals table, with Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Miller sharing most of the speed event medals, although they didn't do well at all in the technical events.

Meanwhile the Austrians, normally the powerhouse of skiing, will be licking their wounds as the men have not finished on the podium in any races. The last time they left empty-handed was in 1936.

They came very close - Benjamin Raich, Mario Scheiber and Marcel Hirscher all finished fourth in their events - so you have to have some sympathy for them.

I was really pleased for the German women, who came away with three golds.

Maria Riesch's success in the slalom and combined was expected but more of a shock was Viktoria Rabensburg in the giant slalom.

My former coach Christian Schwaiger is with them now, this team has been building up for a while and Schwaiger should take a lot of credit for it.

And I think the British skiers have fared pretty well too, coming into these Games with financial problems hanging over them.

Dave Ryding and Andy Noble put in a good performance in the slalom.

It was a shame they missed out on the top 30 after the first run because if they had of made it, anything could have happened in the second run as the snow was almost spring-like and the course cut up pretty badly.

British skier Chemmy Alcott
Britain's Alcott was hoping for better from the Games

And you can't knock Chemmy Alcott's efforts in these Games either as finishing 11th in the super combined and 13th in the downhill are both great achievements.

I must say, I don't think she was quite on it in these Games but I still believe there are great things to come from her. It just all needs to click into place and then she will be on the podium, I'm convinced.

Some of the fresh faces who shook-up the order included Italian Giuliano Razzoli, winner of the slalom, the country's only alpine medal.

I don't think many would have picked him out before the start of the race but it was a cool run by the 25-year-old.

He has only won one World Cup race before and had led another after the first run before blowing it in the second leg so he was determined not to do that here.

Razzoli is a protege of my hero, Alberto Tomba and I'm sure La Bomba felt very proud after his gold-medal run.

Alain Baxter was talking to Anna Thompson



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see also
Giant slalom gold for Rebensburg
25 Feb 10 |  Alpine skiing
Miller secures first Olympic gold
21 Feb 10 |  Alpine skiing
Alcott admits doubts over future
26 Feb 10 |  Alpine skiing
Italian Razzoli takes slalom gold
27 Feb 10 |  Alpine skiing
Fischbacher wins chaotic super-G
20 Feb 10 |  Alpine skiing
Riesch wins second gold in slalom
26 Feb 10 |  Alpine skiing


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