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December, 9, 2016

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Gisin, Maze share gold in women's downhill

ROSA KHUTOR -- Dominique Gisin and Tina Maze finished in a thrilling dead heat as an Alpine skiing gold medal was shared for the first time in Winter Olympics history on Wednesday in a dramatic women's downhill.

Swiss outsider Gisin, wearing bib number eight, was first to clock 1min 41.57sec down the icy 2.7km-long course and in brilliant sunshine it looked to have been enough for outright victory.

But Gisin, who has not won a World Cup downhill race since 2009 and whose best finish in the downhill this season is seventh, had not counted on Maze, the 2013 super-G world champion and proven big-stage performer.

Starting 13 runners after Gisin on a course that had not broken up, the Slovenian led all the splits but lost a little time after the final jump to come charging through the finish line in a dead heat.

Maze has had a relatively poor season, which was only partially rescued by a first downhill win in Cortina d'Ampezzo in January, but her third place finish in the downhill run of the super-combined was a reminder of her speed abilities.

"I'm extremely happy and completely overwhelmed," said a tearful Gisin after immediately calling her family.

"I don't think I even dreamt about this. Now that I have won, I am living the dream, but this is better than dreaming.

"I was speaking to my grandad and grandma. Everybody is extremely excited. They were just crying and I was crying, too."

'This has to be it'

Maze added: "This doesn't feel real. I will have to see my team to get myself together and realize how much this means to us.

"I have been dreaming about this since I was little. The first ski race I ever won in my life was a downhill so before I went down the track today I said to myself, 'This has to be it. I can do it', and I just went for it."

Maze said there were no hard feelings sharing the gold.

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