The women's downhill course was nothing short of unforgiving Wednesday, with girls crashing, going off course, landing on one ski in the off-camber sections, getting air off every knoll and bump, and generally holding on for dear life.
But American Lindsey Vonn didn't seem to be bothered by the rough course and crashes. She put in a near-flawless run down the Franz's course to claim the Olympic downhill title.
Vonn, who was said to be nursing a deep shin bruise, finished in one minute, 44.19 seconds. Teammate Jula Mancuso picked up the silver medal with a time of 1:44.75. Austrian Elisabeth Goergle took the bronze in 1:45.65.
Split times told the story, as only a handful of skiers managed to get faster as the day went on.
At one point Britt Janyk was within 0.12 seconds of the lead, but after going wide on a turn she was dropped off the pace.
"It is a bit of a momentum course," Janyk said. "I think the snow is in great shape so any error, any slip-up, and you lose time. I was a little too low on one gate, but when you're in a race you just have to go with it. I was really happy that I was pushing the limits, pushing the line, while trying to stay really relaxed on my skis and be in the moment. I wouldn't have changed anything."
Janyk's time of 1:46.21 was good for sixth place. She finished less than half a second off the podium.
After one official training run - which was actually two partial runs - freezing temperatures overnight and clear skies meant the course was hard, rough and fast. It surprised and intimidated many of the racers.
The course got bumpier as the race went on, with some of the top-ranked skiers in the world struggling - including past champion Anja Paerson of Sweden, who joined the long list of DNFs after a huge flight ended in a crash just before the finish.
British skier Chemmy Alcott says the crashes only prove how difficult the course can be.
"We've had crashes, DNFs, that's kind of what you want to see because this course was really hard and you want to challenge the top skiers," she said. "It seemed like you were either in the air or on edge the whole time, you can't relax for a second."
Janyk had similar respect for the course.
"It was tough," she said. "There were always jumps, always terrain, always turns... so you really had to fight to get to the finish and by the time you get to the finish your legs are a bit tired but you really need to stay strong right to the finish because it doesn't let up in the last section."