On arrival, he let his rage burst out with a cry covered by the hundreds of others coming from the stands in front of his masterful performance.

Odermatt knew it, he had just succeeded in "the most beautiful race of (his) life".

By beating his great Norwegian rival Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, favorite of the day, by 48/100 and the Canadian Cameron Alexander by 89/100, the 25-year-old Swiss finally won world gold, in the downhill, the queen event of alpine skiing. which he had never tamed.

Olympic champion of the giant and winner of the big crystal globe in 2022, the versatile Swiss (giant, super-G, downhill) has been crushing the world circuit for two years but had not yet won a medal at the Worlds, notably failing in the fourth place of the super-G on Thursday.

"After the super-G, I didn't have easy days. After training, where many skiers skied very well, I knew it would be hard and I thought you had to give everything, that's what I did and I won, it's fantastic," he explained at a press conference.

"The Federer of Skiing"

The Eclipse track was therefore the scene of the end of this double anomaly: Odermatt was crowned world champion, and finally dominated a downhill after having collected eight podiums in the World Cup in this discipline (seven times second, once third).

The Swiss Marco Odermatt in Courchevel on February 12, 2023 © Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

"When you win once, you want to win a second time... so it's not over," he warned.

"Odi" created big gaps by cutting the Eclipse, a creation of the Courchevel resort for the Worlds, which alternates between parts in the sun and shaded portions, making it difficult for skiers who tumble at more than 100 km / h .

On Sunday, the Swiss found the perfect trajectories before showing his science as a giantist in the most technical parts at the end of the round.

This brilliantly acquired victory delighted the Swiss clan present in the finally full stands, who sang songs to his glory.

"Odermatt is the Federer of skiing, he manages to do things that others do not. There have been + machines + in skiing but he is a genius, there are not many, it's magnificent", greeted Johan Clarey, only 23rd.

"Step too high" for Clarey

Highly anticipated, the French Olympic vice-champion missed out on his race, which was his last big challenge before retiring at the end of the season.

Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde in Courchevel on February 12, 2023 © Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

“The step was too high for me, he blew in the mixed zone. smile because it was an opportunity to say + goodbye + to the French public, I tried to take advantage of it. My career has been great despite everything, I am very proud of everything I have done.

His teammate Maxence Muzaton made the French public roar: in the match for the podium for three-quarters of the race, he skied less well at the end of the course to clinch an unexpected place of honor (6th) in the heart of a lackluster season (no top 10s).

"I'm extremely satisfied, I wanted to be a winner, with no regrets. When I see where I'm coming from, 6th is my most successful race for three seasons. I physically picked up the bottom because I gave everything on the top", explained Muzaton (32), who replaced Cyprien Sarrazin, injured earlier this week.

Behind Odermatt, the Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won him a new silver medal in these Worlds after that of the super-G.

For his very first race at the World Championships, Cameron Alexander surprised by winning bronze, Canada's second medal in Courchevel after James Crawford's title in super-G.

Alexander (25) won the downhill in Kvitfjell (Norway) last season, his only World Cup podium.

© 2023 AFP