It's All Downhill for the Favorites

Olympic downhill ski races are unkind to favorites. At Nagano in 1998, Jean-Luc Crétier took advantage of a spectacular crash by Austrian great

Hermann Maier to snatch gold. At Lillehammer in 1994, America's Tommy Moe grabbed gold over Norway's homegrown favorite, Kjetil Andre Aamodt. So it went at Snowbasin for Austria's season-dominating Stephan Eberharter. Almost predictably, he missed the gold.

Just as Eberharter, the World Cup champion, had set up a nearly half-second lead, his countryman Fritz Strobl posted a time .28 sec. faster. And then came Norway's Lasse Kjus, .06 sec. quicker. Strobl, a personable and...

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