Sochi Olympics - Day 11

Sochi Olympics - Day 11

Alpine Skiing – Women:  The weather was not that great during the first run of the giant slalom in Rosa Khutor, snowing up on top and partly raining down at the bottom… but the snow held and racers did not complain. Tina Maze of Slovenia skied first and finished first. Jessica Lindell-Vikarby of Sweden ran second and finished second, but Nadia Fanchini of Italy who managed third place in the first run had bib number 10.

In the second run, Tina Maze did just as well as she did in the first and won gold in a total time of 2:36:87 only 0.07 seconds ahead of silver medalist Anna Fenninger of Austria. Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany finished third to win the bronze with +0.27 from the leader. Nadia Fanchini who managed the third time of the first run missed the podium by a tiny margin in front on Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States taking 5th place.

Snowboard-Cross – Men:  Pierre Vaultier of France won a dramatic and rain-soaked snowboard cross final. Vaultier’s achievement was all the more impressive given he tore his anterior cruciate ligament ACL in December. Nikolay Olyunin of Russia took silver and Alex Deibold of the United States the bronze. Three time Olympian Nate Holland of the United States and Alex “chumpy” Pullin of Australia who were both considered strong medal contenders, fell in the early rounds.

Biathlon – Men:  Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway and the French star Martin Fourcade reached the final straight together but the Norwegian seemed to have sealed victory when he pulled away in the sprint for the line. But Fourcade fought back to lunge towards the finish – the first binding to cross the line determining the winner – just as Svendsen raised his arms in celebration. The official television feed initially showed Fourcade, who had earlier claimed the 20km individual and 12.5km pursuit titles, as the winner. A photo finish confirmed Svendsen as the winner. Ondrej Moravec of the Czech Republic took the bronze in a race that had been postponed twice because of bad weather and visibility.

Freestyle Skiing – Men:  It was the first ever freestyle skiing halfpipe competition in Olympic history. Although snowy conditions made it a bit harder for the judges, the athletes themselves didn’t seem to have too many difficulties. David Wise of the United States won gold, while Mike Riddle of Canada silver and Kevin Rolland of France the bronze.

Nordic Combined – Men:  True to its namesake, Norway has just dominated one of the premier Nordic Combine events in Sochi. Its athletes proved that they could jump and ski with equal efficiency on the way to two medals in the individual large hill and cross-country event. Joergen Graabak and Magnus Hovdal Moan of Norway finished first and second, respectively, with Fabian Riessle of Germany finishing third for bronze.

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