Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin held off the challenge of pre-event favorite Mikaela Shiffrin to win the women’s Alpine combined gold medal at Pyeongchang 2018.
The 24-year-old clocked a combined time of 2:20.90 to beat her American rival by 0.97 seconds and claim her first Olympic medal.
She ranked third in the downhill in 1:40.14 and fourth in the slalom in 40.76.
Gisin joins her sister Dominique as the only women from Switzerland to win a gold medal in an Alpine skiing event in the past 24 years.
Dominique Gisin won the women’s downhill at Sochi 2014.
The last woman before the Gisin sisters to claim gold for Switzerland in Alpine skiing was Vreni Schneider,winner of the women’s slalom at Lillehammer 1994.
Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener was the bronze medalist, producing the fastest slalom run with 40.23 for an overall time of 2:22.34
“It’s amazing to be on the podium with two such amazing skiers,” Gisin said.
“I knew I would have to show the slalom of my life to have a chance to get that medal and to get that gold medal.
“I’m just so excited that I found my run.
“I’ve been looking for that run the whole season and it came at just the perfect moment.”
Gisin’s victory was confirmed when the United States’ Lindsey Vonn, the leader after the downhill segment, failed to finish her slalom run.
Shiffrin becomes the third athlete from America to win a medal in at least three different Winter Olympic Alpine skiing events, following in the footsteps of Julia Mancuso and Bode Miller.
She previously won the gold medal in the slalom at Sochi 2014 and the giant slalom here at Pyeongchang 2018.
“It feels good,” Shiffrin said.
“It’s a nice way to end the Olympics.
“”I started off with a bang and ending with a medal on the podium is really cool.
“I came into these Olympics knowing I could be a medal threat in multiple disciplines.
“I didn’t even know how many I would ski.
“After the gold in the giant slalom, I was really hopeful and positive.”
Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel, who ranked second in the downhill, finished fourth overall.
Alpine skiing medal action at Pyeongchang 2018 is due to conclude on Saturday (February 24) with the new team event.
By Daniel Etchells
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.