Russia goes Wild again for second gold

Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:48am EST
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By Nick Mulvenney

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - American-born Vic Wild won his second gold medal for Russia at the Sochi Games on Saturday when he stormed to victory in the men's parallel slalom final to become the first snowboarder to win two titles at a single Olympics.

Austrian Julia Dujmovits had moments earlier won the first women's title in the event's Olympic debut but it was Wild's second triumph for his adopted country after his giant slalom gold on Wednesday that brought the crowd to a crescendo.

Wild had looked down and out in the semi-finals but staged a remarkable second-run comeback to reach the final, where he edged giant slalom bronze medalist Zan Kosir in a thriller.

"Beyond believable," said the 27-year-old Wild.

"When I came to the Olympics and showed up, I had already won. To win the other day was the greatest feeling of my life. I can't believe it."

Twice world champion Benjamin Karl lost to Wild in the semi-final but took bronze in the "small" final to give Austria their first two Extreme Park medals on the last day of action at the Caucasus Mountains venue.

The silver and bronze behind Dujmovits went to German pair Anke Karstens and Amelie Kober, the latter winning the "small" final despite riding in a splint after breaking her elbow on Wednesday.

The Extreme Park program ended as it had started with a big crowd watching qualification rounds, bathed in bright sunshine under picture-perfect blue skies.   Continued...

Russia's Vic Wild reacts during the men's parallel slalom snowboard finals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor February 22, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson