It was ski racing’s equivalent to hitting a buzzer-beating jumper from mid-court to win the game.
Miss, and it was game over.
After months of frustration and poor results, Ben Thomsen had one last chance to punch his ticket to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
He needed a top-12 result on the legendary Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbuhel, Austria. And wearing starting bib No. 50, it was as tall a task as he’d faced his entire career.
After clearing his mind for the length of his two-minute, 4.80-second run the 26-year-old native of Invermere, B.C., looked up at the scoreboard to see he’d accomplished the improbable, finishing 12th.
Having finished no better than 37th on the World Cup circuit all season, the scream he let out in the finish area was one of excitement and tremendous relief.
“I wanted to go out there, and I wanted to get an amazing result,” Thomsen said after the race of his life.