Posted by News Express | 12 February 2014 | 3,599 times
For the first time in Olympic history two skiers climbed together onto the top of a podium after the women’s downhill ended in a dramatic tie today.
Slovenia’s Tina Maze and Dominique Gisin of Switzerland held hands as they stepped up to receive the accolade of a noisy crowd at the foot of the Rosa Khutor slopes each having stopped the clock at 1min 41.57sec.
Gisin shed tears of relief after realising she was still in the gold medal position in the wake of Maze crossing the line and ‘one’ flashing up on the scoreboard with the Slovenian’s name on the top.
Chemmy Alcott, who finished a creditable 19th, described it as an “epic” race down the “toughest” course. The two gold medal winners ski in contrasting style but there was no separating them.
Silver medals have been shared three times in the 90 years of the Winter Olympics but, until today, never gold. Gisin was the eighth racer to go and set a dynamic pace. She had the advantage of an early start as the warm weather — this morning was T-shirt time in the mountains — saw the last 100m become increasingly soft.
Maze, who won two silvers in Vancouver, went off 21st. Before her she had seen the two favourites, Julia Mancuso of the United States and Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Reisch fail to trouble Gisin’s time, or even the medal positions. The 30-year-old made a flying start and was ahead through the first four splits. By the fourth she was 0.38sec quicker but slowed over the lower half.
She punched the air and threw her goggles in the air. In the medal enclosure Gisin’s coach rubbed snow on her face to cool her down. After some confusion it was confirmed the gold would be shared and then came more tears.
Alcott came close to tears of her own after ending a troubled year on a high. The Briton broke her leg for a third time seven months ago but recovered to make her fourth Games. This was her third top-20 finish.
“After what I’ve been through, it’s amazing justice. I’m swelling with pride and I’m on a buzz,” she said. “I know it sounds crazy to some people but 19th is a gold for me.”
•Excerpted from thisislondon.co.uk. Photo shows Sochi Winter Olympic gold winners Dominique Gisin (left) and Tina Maze celebrate on the podium.
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