“Before my first run I was shaking like a leaf,” he said, having watched some notable names skid out in the fog.
“No matter what happened, I was going for it as hard as I could and I was going to finish,” added O’Connor, who will carry the Irish flag in today’s closing ceremony.
Giuliano Razzoli, who grew up admiring Italy’s skiing great Alberto Tomba, prevailed after poor weather in the first leg tripped up nearly half the racers including Olympic comeback kid Bode Miller.
The 25-year-old Razzoli, who had clocked the fastest time in the first leg through fog and sleet, became the first Italian man to win the title since Tomba, 22 years ago to the day in Calgary.
“I told him, have your eyes open and be fast and ferocious. He handled it the way he had to,” said Tomba, who was at Whistler mountain to watch the race.