The second act of the men's show didn't go so well for the stars. In the first run of the slalom Tomba led by an enormous margin at the midway point, then lost his balance in a tight three-gate flush, straddled the next gate and fell. He was angry and threatened—briefly—to protest the way the gates had been set. In the second run the usually masterful Girardelli, who had finished 21st in the GS the day before, fell near the top. Then Tomas Fogdoe of Sweden, winner of the World Cup slalom title last season, fell near the middle of the course. Aamodt skied raggedly and finished sixth.
The most fascinating figure was one Siegfried Voglreiter, a 23-year-old from Piesendorf, Austria, who had never placed better than sixth in a World Cup race. Starting 32nd in the first run, he charged out to finish a phenomenal .43 ahead of the field. In his second run he broke powerfully out of the gate and at the midway point was leading by .61. He kept up a strong, confident pace down the rest of the 64-gate course until—nightmare of nightmares—he straddled the 60th gate and blew it all 15 yards from victory.
Coming in to grab the prize was another Austrian, Thomas Stangassinger, 28 and a World Cup competitor since 1984. Said Stangassinger of his backdoor victory, "Siegfried is young. He can afford to lose now. I am very happy to take what he has lost."
And what of the American men? Their best finish in the slalom was 13th, by Matt Grosjean, and no one finished the GS. All of which left America's Opening, as the competition in Park City was called, far more hospitable to the rest of the world than it was to the home team.