“Can’t put it into words” – Sara Hector on her slalom gold at 2022 Beijing Olympics

Sweden's golden giant slalomer had just a day's rest between her emotional GS win and the slalom race at Beijing 2022.

Sara Hector
Sara Hector

Alpine ski racer Sara Hector was tenth in the giant slalom at PyeongChang 2018 four years ago and had to fight back the tears on Swedish TV. However, the 29-year-old defied all odds as she was standing top of the podium wearing gold in the same event at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

I’m so proud, I can’t put it into words,” Hector had said after the race. “I really tried to push it and give it all I got. It’s just amazing.”

Hector just managed to hold on by 0.28 seconds after Run 2, having clocked the fastest time on Run 1 at Beijing 2022. On the other hand, Italy’s Federica Brignone won silver and Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami claimed bronze.

It’s tough to see someone you love the fight that much to be able to do normal things like walk and talk and, sometimes, it makes me very sad,” she told Olympics.com in January.

“I really, really love skiing,” she added after the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, “I think it’s so much fun being on the slopes, and this really makes me happy too… attitude is really important if you want to be able to succeed in sports or not.”

“Didn’t sleep almost anything overnight” 

Sara Hector
Sara Hector

Hector, who went past double Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin in both runs at the Courchevel giant slalom in December 2021, suddenly gained the Olympic favourite tag. However, the Swede felt the nerves and the pressure, and how she dealt with them on Chinese soil.

I didn’t sleep almost anything overnight, I was really nervous,” she says, “and I really wanted that lot. I knew what I had planned to do.

“I felt like I wanted to puke all day I was so nervous. But the warm-up felt really good, actually, and then I felt like: I know what to do but I was still trying to just keep calm and focussed.”

Also Read | Austria’s Aigner siblings achieve glory at 2022 Beijing Paralympics