One of the rare accomplishments in the history of the Winter Games, Rosa Khutor served as the backdrop for a double gold medal performance. Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin and Slovenia’s Tina Maze would share in the historic gold after their race in the women’s downhill.
Starting in eighth position, Gisin would shred her way down the course with a time of 1:41.57. Thirteen skiers afterward, Gisin’s time was still the time to beat. Maze, who is also a model and a recording artist in her native Slovenia, skied two miles down the face of the mountain. The outcome would consist of extreme surprise as her finish time was exactly the same as Gisin; 1:41:57.
For the first time in Alpine history at the Winter Games, a remarkable tie for first place, down to the exact hundredth of a second took place. While ties are common in other sports, they are of great rarity at the Winter Games level. As a side note, a tie nearly took place at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games. American Picabo Street earned the gold medal by merely one one-hundredth of a second.
Experiencing the elation of a gold medal, Gisin and Maze were all smiles as they held hands and jumped onto the podium together. For Maze, she was accustomed to ties. Her first-ever World Cup win was actually a three-way tie for first.
As speed skaters are timed by the thousandth of a second, it is distinctly possible that this historic moment would have no longer been a tie. Considering that the women’s downhill course is blanketed in snow and ice, along with a distance of 1.6 miles long, complemented by a breathtaking drop of 2,600 vertical feet, it is safe to assume that Gisin and Maze are more than glad to share the gold together.
While Gisin and Maze are two very distinct individuals that have employed different paths in their lives in their journey towards this once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment, there is no question that an unbreakable bond of fame and friendship shall link and define the two forevermore. As a side note, it is worth noting that Michaela Dorfmesiter was the silver medalist. Although many events at Sochi provided sports fans with many memorable experiences, a rare double gold is one that may prove to stand the test of time.