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Olympic skiers hit slopes for women's downhill medals

Published On: Feb 12 2014 10:44:18 AM EST
Tina Maze, Olympic downhill, Sochi

Mike Segar/Reuters

There was a tie in the Olympic women's downhill event Wednesday in Sochi, with Slovenian Tina Maze and Swiss Dominique Gisin sharing the gold.

Maze and Gisin both finished their runs with a time of 1:41.57. Coming in third for the bronze medal was Lara Gut of Switzerland, who finished her run in 1:41.67.

Julia Mancuso was the top American in the field, finishing in eighth place, nearly a full second off the leaders.

Of the other Americans in the field, Laurenne Ross finished 11th, Stacey Cook was 17th and Jacqueline Wiles was 26th.

Mancuso got her first taste of Olympic gold when she won the giant slalom in Turin, Italy, in 2006. The 29-year-old Squaw Valley, Calif., native also won silver medals in both the super combined and downhill at the 2010 Winter Olympics and took home bronze over the weekend in the super combined event.

No other female American alpine skier has won more than two Olympic medals.

Mancuso's performance in Sochi has also helped fill a void created for U.S. skiing fans when gold medal favorite Lindsey Vonn pulled out of the games due to a knee injury.

Vonn originally tore her knee ligaments at the world championships nearly a year ago. The four-time World Cup overall champion underwent reconstructive surgery but aggravated the problem in a crash during training in November.

Four years ago, Mancuso finished second in the Olympics downhill behind Vonn at Whistler. Last March, she took third place at the world championships in the super-G race where Vonn earlier crashed and hurt her knee.

After a difficult start to the 2013-14 World Cup season, Mancuso took a break from the slopes. After returning in mid-January, she scored her first three top-10 finishes of the season (two in the downhill and one in the super-G), securing her spot for her fourth Olympic Games.