The stage was the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002, the discipline the men’s slalom, and the result one of the most infamous and iniquitous in the history of skiing and the Olympics beyond.
Scotland’s Alain Baxter was racing against the best in the world, against all odds and expectations, and he was looking damn fast as he did it. He crossed the finish line in second place on his second run and held his breath along with the rest of Great Britain as the final competitors flew down the course.
Norweigan Kjetil Andre Aamodt couldn’t match Alain’s speed, and when home racer Bode Miller dramatically crashed out, it didn’t matter that Frenchman Jean-Pierre Vidal would take the top spot and move Baxter down to third.
Alain had his medal. The first medal in the history of British skiing; the first medal ever won on snow by Team GB. But he didn’t have it for long.
“I still have such great memories of that race – of coming third, of the response back home…”