Ted Ligety took a huge lead in the first run of the giant slalom and held it in the second run, giving America its first gold in Alpine skiing.
“Ted, he is Mr. GS,” said Davide Simoncelli of Italy, who was third after the first run but fell out of medal contention on the seecond. “When he pushes, we watch.”
Steve Missillier and Alexis Pinturault of France took silver and bronze, respectively.
The Americans have five snowboard medals at these Games, but none Wednesday morning. Justin Reiter, the lone U.S. man in the parallel giant slalom, failed to advance out of his qualifying round. Reiter lived out of his car while training for the Olympics.
An American-born man did win gold, however. Vic Wild, who is competing for Russia, defeated Nevin Galmarini of Switzerland in the “big final,” relegating Galmarini to silver. Zan Kosir of Slovenia won the small final and the bronze. Wild, who became a Russian citizen after marrying snowboarder Alena Zavarzina and became a Russian citizen, won bronze in this event at the 2013 world championships.
Zavarzina won a medal of her own, taking the bronze in the women’s event. Gold was won by Patrizia Kummer of Switzerland and silver went to Tomoka Takuechi of Japan.
The U.S. women’s cross-country team finished third in its semifinal in the team sprint classic, but made it to the finals as a “lucky loser” based on its time. The Americans’ group included Norway and Sweden, who finished 1-2. Finland won the other qualifying group. Sophie Caldwell and Kikkan Randall skied for the United States. The final will be held this morning.
The American men were fifth in their semifinal, but also advanced as “lucky losers.” Finland and Germany won the two qualifying rounds.
Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves for his second shutout of the Games as Sweden easily defeated Slovenia, 5-0, to advance to the semifinals. Sweden has 23 NHL players on its roster, not including injured captain Henrik Zetterberg; Slovenia has just one, Anze Kopitar. Sweden will face the winner of the Russia-Finland, playing later this morning, in Friday’s semifinals.