Dave Riding’s mistake cost him the victory in Beijing. The 35-year-old’s appearance in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing was the 4th of Ryding’s storied career. The result was much less than Ryding anticipated considering he came in following a record-breaking World Cup gold in Kitzbuhel last month.
After a great start on the difficult technical course, Ryding was sitting on top. However, following a miscue on a later gate, Ryding fell all the way to 16th position. After a run of 50.44 seconds, Ryding finished in 13th position, which was 0.78 seconds behind medal position.
Clearly disappointed, Ryding grades his performance a C-plus. He knows he is still capable of putting forth a performance similar to what he did a Kitzbuhel, but just didn’t have his rhythm and wasn’t in a good flow.
One of Great Britain’s flagbearers, Ryding was the oldest competitor that placed in the top 15. As for the chances that we’ll see Ryding again in the Olympics, it’s pretty slim. Ryding feels he can stay at the top level of slalom skiing for at least another year. Beyond that, he notes he needs to respect his body, and his family.
Ryding will not accept anything less than his best. He remains critical of himself, which is the only way to stay on top. Once that aspect is gone, it’s “game over”, as he put it.
Ryding finished 27th in his first Olympic Games in 2010, followed by a 17th place finish in 2014, and 9th place finish in 2018. For his career, he has 23 top tens, 4 podiums, and one victory. HIs best finish at the World Championships is 9th in the slalom in 2019.