Maze and Gisin finish in rare gold tie

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Julia Mancuso, seeking to tie Bode Miller atop the all-time list of U.S. skiers with five Olympic medals, didn't make history Wednesday in the women's downhill, finishing eighth.

But the race itself did.

For the first time in Olympic history, an alpine skiing race ended in a dead heat for the gold medal – or gold medals, in this case.

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There have been three ties for second in Olympic ski racing, including the USA's Diann Roffe Steinrotter tying Anita Wachter of Austria for the silver medal in the giant slalom in 1992. The others were the 1998 men's super-G (Didier Cuche and Hans Knauss) and the 1964 women's giant slalom (the USA's Jean Saubert and France's Christine Goitschel).

But there has never been a tie for first.

The previous closest race for gold in Olympic history had been Picabo Street's winning run in the 1998 super-G -0.01 seconds faster than Austrian Michaela Dorfmeister.

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Slovenian superstar Tina Maze and unheralded Swiss racer Dominique Gisin had identical times of 1 minute, 41.57 seconds in Wednesday's race. Another Swiss skier, Lara Gut, who came in more of a favorite than Gisin, took the bronze 0.10 seconds back.

Mancuso, 29, of Squaw Valley, Calif., couldn't find the same magic she had on the hill Monday, finishing 0.99 seconds behind the winners.

"It's really crazy," Mancuso said of the tie. "I'm really happy for both girls. It's an amazing show."

Mancuso, who won the downhill portion of the super combined on her way to a bronze medal Monday, started 12th in the downhill and was considered a co-favorite with Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch.

But Mancuso got wide on turn and lost a little speed in the middle of the course and finished fourth at the time behind then-leader Gisin, with the heavy hitters still to come.

"I am disappointed with my skiing," Mancuso said. "I made some big mistakes. I would like to have another chance, but it's over. I have to move on to my next event.

"(The course) is tough and really difficult to stay focused on the whole run, but that's what separates the champions from the rest of us on race day."


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