Norway's Svindal makes history as oldest Olympic skiing champion

    Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway won his first Olympic downhill gold in Pyeongchang.

    Story highlights

    • Aksel Lund Svindal wins men's downhill gold
    • He becomes Norway's first downhill champion

    (CNN)He's one of Norway's best-loved and most successful winter athletes and now Aksel Lund Svindal has made history by becoming the oldest skier to win Olympic gold and his country's first in the speed discipline.

    The 35-year-old beat close friend and countryman Kjetil Jansrud into silver with Swiss world champion Beat Feuz in bronze in what is often considered the blue riband event of the Winter Olympics.
      Last 10 men's downhill champions

      2018 Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway

      2014 Matthias Mayer, Austria

      2010 Didier Défago, Switzerland

      2006 Antoine Dénériaz, France

      2002 Fritz Strobl, Austria

      1998 Jean-Luc Crétier, France

      1994 Tommy Moe, USA

      1992 Patrick Ortlieb, Austria

      1988 Pirmin Zurbriggen, Switzerland

      1984 Bill Johnson, USA

      Svindal has been one of the dominant skiers of his generation, with multiple world titles and World Cup crowns as well as Olympic super-G gold, downhill silver and giant slalom bronze in Vancouver in 2010, but Olympic downhill gold had always eluded him.
        But on a perfect day after a week of high wind and delays at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre, Svindal defied history to edge Sochi super-G champion Jansrud by 0.12 seconds with Feuz 0.18 secs back.
        Svindal is three months older than Austria's Mario Matt was when he won the slalom at the age of 34 in Sochi. American Bode Miller became skiing's oldest male medalist when he won bronze at Sochi at the age of 36.
        "When you cross the finish line and you see that you've had a good race and you're in the medals or even for the gold, you don't think too much about the history books," Svindal told reporters afterwards.
        "It's emotional, and being in the Olympics and competing for gold and being able to get it, for me at least those feelings are much stronger than any history ever written."