- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Tina Maze and Dominique Gisin tie for Olympic downhill gold
Question of the Day
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Slovenia’s Tina Maze and Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin took different paths on an Olympic downhill filled with flats and turns, jumps and bumps, across slender trees’ shadows, along snow that was icy at the top, soft at the bottom.
Any variable could have made the slightest difference over the more than 1½ miles (2½ kilometers). Gisin, the eighth woman down the Rosa Khutor course, was good enough early and fantastic at the end. A half-hour later, starting 20th, Maze followed a tighter line, faster than Gisin most of the way, until slowed by a mistake shortly before the final leap.
Add it all up, and they were each other’s equal Wednesday. Exactly, right down to the hundredth of a second. Gisin finished in 1 minute, 41.57 seconds. Maze finished in 1 minute, 41.57 seconds. A tie. And so two gold medals were awarded, the first time that’s happened in 78 years of Olympic Alpine skiing.
“Maybe just one finger, maybe just a hand — it can change a color of a medal,” Maze said.
In a field missing injured defending champion Lindsey Vonn, Gisin’s Swiss teammate Lara Gut got the bronze, 0.10 seconds back.
Quite a contrast from Monday’s super-combined, when Maze wore a stern expression after finishing fourth, merely a tenth of a second slower than bronze medalist Julia Mancuso of the United States.
“It’s just that lower of a tuck or that cleaner of a line that makes you that much faster,” said American Laurenne Ross, who finished 11th Wednesday.
While other Winter Games sports such as speedskating and luge break down times to the thousandths of a second, Alpine skiing does not — it didn’t even go to hundredths until the 1964 Olympics — and ties happen occasionally. Maze was even in a three-way tie for first in a 2002 World Cup giant slalom. And get this: The first of Gisin’s three World Cup victories came via a tie with Swedish star Anja Paerson in 2009. That was the last time first place was shared in a top-level women’s downhill.
“Hundredths are fine with me,” Gisin said with a hearty chuckle, “and today, the hundredths were on my side.”
According to Peter Huerzeler of Omega, all three timing systems used Wednesday had the same results for Maze and Gisin. Huerzeler said the system is capable of measuring thousandths of a second — even millionths, he said — but isn’t calibrated that way for Alpine events, because the International Ski Federation doesn’t want it to be.
This was the fifth tie in Olympic skiing, but the others involved an extra silver or bronze. Most recently, two silvers were awarded for the men’s super-G at the 1998 Nagano Games.
“That’s what’s the beauty of skiing,” Britain’s Chemmy Alcott said after finishing 19th. “There’s not one body type that can win this race. There’s not one line that can win this race. It’s about fighting for every single millisecond.”
Maze, 30, adds this gold to the two Olympic silvers she won in 2010, along with the 2013 overall World Cup title she earned with 11 race victories and a record point total. She owns six world championship medals, including two golds. Things were tougher lately; her first win this season came in her 22nd World Cup race, last month.
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Sarah Palin's online channel hits snag as Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- 'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world