Sochi 2014: Women’s Olympic downhill title shared for first time

Sochi 2014: Tina Maze wins Slovenia's first Winter gold in women's downhill but has to share the honour, another Olympic first

By David Taylor
Smiling, happy person: Tina Maze Photo: Viviana Coloma/Wikimedia Commons

Slovenia’s Tina Maze and Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin shared the woman’s downhill skiing title after clocking the same time down to the last hundredth of a second.

It is the first time alpine skiers have shared the gold medal at the Olympics after both registered times of 1:41.57 over the 2,713m course.

Gisin set the pace after going out eighth in the 42-strong field but was equalled by Maze who claimed Slovenia’s first Winter Olympic gold while Lara Gut made it another medal for Switzerland with the bronze.

I think the tie is not that bad, it is even more interesting. It is better to have two on the podium, two happy faces

Tina Maze

“I did not realise I was first, I thought Dominique and Lara were first, then I saw the number one and the rest is not important,” said Maze, who after many years in the sport won her first overall World Cup crown last year yet appeared unfazed by the fact some gloss was taken off her greatest personal triumph.

“I think the tie is not that bad, it is even more interesting. It is better to have two on the podium, two happy faces.

“It’s crazy but it’s happened to me before. In my first world cup win there were three of us on the podium.”

Gisin summed up a mad finish to one of the Winter Olympics’ blue-riband events by saying she couldn’t bear to look at the big screen.

“It’s crazy. There was a lot of nerves, a lot of sweat, lot of emotions. It was lonely there in the leader’s box.

“It’s incredible, how else can I say it. It’s a big honour to share the gold with Tina, she’s an amazing woman. This is awesome.”

Maze said she was full of respect for her good pal Gisin, the pair even squeezing gloves as they stood atop the podium.

“Dominique and I are very close, I know she was struggling this season, now we are even closer than we were before. The hand-holding was spontaneous.”

It’s not the first time skiing medals have been shared at the Olympics but it has never been gold up to now.

In 1964 in Innsbruck, France’s Christine Goitschel and American Jean Saubert shared giant slalom silver while in 1992 American Dian Roffe and Austrian Anita Wachter tied for silver in the same event.

Switzerland’s Didier Cuche and Austrian Hans Knauss also tied for second place in the men’s super giant slalom in Nagano in 1998.

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