A family affair

20 February 2014 07:58
Married couple Zavarzina-Wild and their private medal talk
Married couple Zavarzina-Wild and their private medal talk -

There have been married couples who have won Olympic Winter Games medals in the same event before, but it is hard to imagine a husband and wife collecting their trophies quite as close together as snowboarders Alena Zavarzina (RUS) and Vil Wild (RUS) did at Sochi 2014.

Zavarzina won Bronze in the ladies parallel giant slalom at 15:15 on Wednesday afternoon. And less than 15 minutes later Wild crossed the line on the same course to take Gold in the men's event.

“It was incredible to win with Alena,” he said. “We are together all the time. If one of us has success and the other doesn't it's great but it's not that great, but for both of us to have success on the same day is a dream come true. Maybe I will wake up soon.”

Zavarzina said she did not know what colour medal her husband was racing for until after she had won her Bronze. “It's the craziest day of my life,” she said.

The Russian pair are not the first couple to win a medal in the same event. Raphael Poiree (FRA) won Bronze while his then wife Liv Grete Poiree (NOR) took Silver in cross country skiing's men's and ladies relay events respectively at Salt Lake City 2002.

USA-born Wild married Zavarzina in 2011 and took Russian citizenship in 2012 after becoming frustrated with the lack of funding for downhill snowboarding in the United States.

“It was the full-on Siberian wedding,” said Wild. “It was crazy. Probably more stressful than today.”

Celebrations in the Wild household however had to be tamer on Wednesday night; training for both in the parallel slalom event began at 08:30 on Thursday.