Queenstown alpine ski racer Alice Robinson finished in 12th place at the Audi FIS Giant Slalom World Cup in Austria on Saturday, one week after being named Snow Sports NZ Athlete of the Year.
The traditional season opening on the Rettenbach Glacier in Sölden attracts the world’s best racers, all vying for the prestige of finishing on top of the podium. Robinson made history last year at this race when, at the age of 17, she won New Zealand’s first Alpine World Cup gold medal since 1997 and New Zealand’s first ever Giant Slalom Alpine World Cup gold medal.
Conditions this year were tough, with low visibility on the top portion of the course during the first run. Robinson ranked fourth equal, sitting 1.18 seconds behind the leader Marta Bassino (Italy).
Robinson explained that she skied solidly but just felt that she was lacking the attack and planned to build on her solid skiing to make up some time in her second run.
With the start order of the top-30 racers flipped for run two, Robinson was the fourth to last skier through the start gate, and finished in 12th place overall.
Bassino maintained her lead through run two and teammate Federica Brignone (Italy) finished in second, just 0.14 seconds behind. Petra Vlhova (Slovakia) rounded out the podium in third place.
Robinson had been in Europe for the past two months preparing for the start of her World Cup season in Sölden, and last week accepted her Snow Sports NZ Athlete of the Year award by video.
“The calibre of athletes representing New Zealand at the moment in various snow sports is extremely high so I am very humbled to have received this recognition amongst such other incredible athletes,” she said.
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