At 38 years, 29 days, Clarey became the oldest medalist at a world championship, although that might not have been his most noteworthy feat. He managed to reach the podium despite travel difficulties that affected many athletes and led to a call for the super-G to be postponed.
Clarey was forced to endure a sleepless night at an airport in Stockholm, then had to take an eight-hour train ride up to Are on Monday. His skis didn’t arrive until Tuesday afternoon.
“It wasn’t ideal preparation for the world championships, for sure,” Clarey said. The race, he added, “would have been better one day after, for me and the German team and for a lot of the guys.”
“But,” he continued with a smile, “I can’t complain anymore.”
Matthias Mayer, the 2018 Olympic super-G champion, was also faster through the second interval. But he then flew wide off a jump and missed a gate.
Aksel Lund Svindal, the Norwegian great who is retiring after the worlds, managed to finish. But he never felt comfortable and placed 16th in the next-to-last race of his career. He shrugged after crossing the line.
“It turned out to be a much more difficult race than I expected,” said Svindal, who will race in the downhill on Saturday.
A lot was expected from the Norwegian team on a course set by one of its coaches, but Jansrud, racing despite having broken two bones in his hand two weeks ago, also struggled and placed 22nd.
“We are used to being 1-2-3,” Jansrud said, “but not today.”
The day, instead, belonged to Paris.
“It was very tough and fast, not the conditions that I like — I like icy and thumpy,” he said. “But I had a great feeling skiing down. Yeah, I’m very happy.”