Vic Wild show reloaded
The Olympic debut of parallel slalom at the XXII Olympic Winter Games at Sochi provided a spectacular men's event with Vic Wild (RUS) crowning himself double Olympic Champion edging off Zan Kosir (SLO) and Benjamin Karl (AUT) to second and third in front of a roaring home crowd.
USA-born Vic Wild (RUS) won a second Gold medal for his adopted country by beating his training partner Zan Kosir (SLO) in the men's psl men's final this Saturday.
Kosir, who took Silver, also won his second medal at Sochi 2014 after getting Bronze in Wednesday's parallel giant slalom, which was also won by Wild when Kosir had expressed his disappointment at not racing Wild in Wednesday's final.
Wild, who let out a primal roar after surviving a scare in the semifinals, was less vocal after his final run. He rode past the finish line with his arms outstretched to the cheering, flag-waving crowd then covered his eyes as if in disbelief.
“To win the other day was the greatest feeling of my life. I can't believe it,” he said after the race, calling the second win “beyond believable”.
Wild, who became a Russian citizen just two years ago, added: “All those power drills I did in the summer, they really paid off. Nobody could keep up.”
The husband of a Russian raceboarder was aggressive in all his runs on Saturday and flew down the course in complete control except in one semifinal run against Benjamin Karl (AUT).
Karl, a four-time World Champion, who easily won the Bronze medal against Arron March (ITA), went over to Wild after the Gold medal race and kneeled before him, making the sign of the cross.
“My goal was to bring home a Gold medal, but the bronze is blinking like Gold right now. I am 28 for sure I will be riding PyeongChang,” the 2010 PGS Silver medallist said, referring to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Wild, who used to compete for the United States, grew frustrated with the lack of funding for downhill snowboarding. He married snowboarder Alena Zavarzina (RUS) - the bronze medallist in the ladies' parallel giant slalom - and became a Russian citizen in 2012.
Wild said he made the right decision in racing for Russia.
“I wouldn't even be here if I hadn't. I wouldn't be snowboarding,” he said. “It wasn't like I had an opportunity in the US and then decided to go to Russia. It's not like there was an option.
I had to make a life for myself, I had to make money. It was the only way if I wanted to snowboard.”