KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Matthias Mayer of Austria won the Olympic downhill Sunday as the big favorites struggled in Alpine skiing's signature race.
Mayer completed the Rosa Khutor course in 2 minutes, 6.23 seconds. Christof Innerhofer of Italy took silver, 0.06 seconds behind, and Kjetil Jansrud of Norway earned bronze, 0.10 behind.
Mayer was one of the first contenders to come down, with the No. 11 bib, and he hardly celebrated when he reached the finish. But his smile grew wider as all the favorites failed to catch him then he began jumping up and down before he went out for the flower ceremony.
Prerace favorite Bode Miller struggled. Not even close to a medal, the American finished in eighth place.
Miller, a five-time Olympic medalist, had the fastest time in two of the three training sessions at the Sochi Games. But after a quick start with a medal on the line Sunday, Miller faded near the end of the course.
He crossed the finish line, quickly glanced at the scoreboard and then slumped his shoulders. He leaned back on his skis to rest before using his poles to help him slowly slide over to the exit.