ROSA KHUTOR, Russia, February 19 (R-Sport) – US-born snowboarder Vic Wild won a surprise Olympic gold medal for Russia in the parallel giant slalom Wednesday, minutes after his wife won bronze in the women's event.
Washington state native Wild was half a second down to Switzerland’s Nevin Galmarini before the second run of the final at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, but blazed back to win by two seconds as his opponent ran wide on the turns.
Wild’s wife Alena Zavarzina, who won bronze for Russia, played a key role in his decision to switch allegiances to Russia in time for the 2011-12 season, citing the low funding for Alpine snowboard events in the US. Since then, Wild has become a snowboard heavyweight, winning world championship bronze last year and taking his first World Cup win in parallel slalom this season.
Gasparini narrowly missed out on completing a golden double for Switzerland in parallel giant slalom after Patrizia Kummer defeated Japan's Tomoka Takeuchi in the final of the women’s competition.
The men’s bronze was won by Slovenia’s Zan Kosir, who overturned a 0.76-second disadvantage to beat German Patrick Bussler on the second run of the small final.
Earlier, there was a surprise as reigning champion and gold medal favorite Jasey Jay Anderson of Canada went out in the first knockout round, losing to Slovenia’s Rok Marguc.
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