Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway will make his Olympic debut in Sochi, where he figures to contend for a medal in the men’s slalom. He made his World Cup debut less then two years ago, but he’s already one of the best technical skiers in the world, scoring four podium finishes in the lead-up to the Games. If he wins a medal in Sochi, Kristoffersen would be the youngest male medalist in Olympic alpine history. Alfred Matt of Austria was 19 years-281 days when he took slalom bronze at the 1968 Games in Grenoble. Kristoffersen will be 19 years-235 days when he takes to the start for the slalom in Sochi.
- 2013: World Championships – 20th (giant slalom)
- 2013: Junior World Championships – Gold (super-combined)
- 2012: Junior World Championships – Gold (giant slalom), Silver (slalom, super-combined)
Things to know:
1. Kristoffersen got the nickname “Wild Child” from friends at school when he was about 12. The moniker stemmed from his constant energy and inability to sit still. When asked to explain it in an interview with FIS, said, “I don’t drink alcohol, I don't party, and I’m not wild in that way. The wildest things I do are on the snow, with my skis. I'm not the kid that parties and goes wild and crazy. That's not how you get to the top of alpine skiing or any sport.”
2. Like teenage women’s slalom star Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S., Kristoffersen has been coached by his father, Lars. He said the best advice his father gave him was, “Do things simple. Don’t try to ski cool. Just keep it simple.’ People are thinking too much and trying to ski cool, not good.”
3. Kristoffersen recently received high praise from his idol, Norwegian alpine legend and eight-time Olympic medalist Kjetil Andre Aamodt. After Kristoffersen’s second-place finish in Kitzbuehel in January, Aamodt told the Norwegian press, “It's completely insane. He is 19 years old now, and this is his third podium in slalom. He is rock-solid. He just has it. There is nothing that can stop him.”