Freestyle-Un, deux, trois - Chapuis leads French sweep

Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:41am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Nick Mulvenney

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - World champion Jean Frederic Chapuis was coolness personified as he led Arnaud Bovolenta and Jonathan Midol to France's first Winter Olympics podium sweep in the men's ski cross final on Thursday.

Chapuis calmly negotiated the crashes and chaos of one of the most unpredictable events at the Sochi Games and the 1-2-3 was secured when the fourth finalist, Canada's Brady Leman, fell on the penultimate jump after tangling with Midol's skis.

"With the two other French guys it's like a dream," said Chapuis, who has dual nationality and was on the Swiss Alpine skiing team before switching sports and countries in 2010.

"Yesterday, I was joking with the guys saying that all three on the podium would be good and it happened. It's perfect.

"We didn't have a strategy. There are three places for the podium, there is one loser's place. We are friends off the slopes, but on the slopes we are enemies."

It was the second medal sweep for one nation in the freestyle skiing at the Extreme Park after the Americans took all three podium places in the slopestyle event.

It also ensured France their best tally at a Winter Games with a total of 14 medals, exceeding the 11 the nation won at Salt Lake City and Vancouver.

Chapuis had shown strong form all day. Fourth fastest in the seedings' run, the 24-year-old led bronze medalist Midol through from their round-of-16 heat and the pair repeated the one-two in their two subsequent races to reach the final.   Continued...

France's Arnaud Bovolenta (L) and France's Jean Frederic Chapuis cross the finish line during the men's freestyle skiing skicross final at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor February 20, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake