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Women's Downhill Event Ends in First Tie in Olympic Alpine Skiing History

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 12:  (L-R) Joint gold medalists Tina Maze of Slovenia and Dominique Gisin of Switzerland celebrate during the medal ceremony for the for the Alpine Skiing Women's Downhill on day five of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Medals Plaza on February 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffFebruary 12, 2014

Switzerland's Dominique Gisin and Slovenia's Tina Maze shared gold in the women's downhill skiing event Wednesday, marking the first tie for gold in Olympic Alpine skiing history. Both women finished in 1 minute, 41.57 seconds, and Alpine skiing doesn't measure to thousandths of a second.

The shared gold was a surprisingly strong result for Gisin, who now has her first Olympic medal at the age of 28. She participated in the downhill at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 but crashed and suffered a concussion during the race. The Swiss skier was ranked 19th in the downhill on the World Cup tour in 2013, making her Olympic triumph all the more surprising. 

Maze, meanwhile, had lofty expectations all along, after finishing second in the 2013 World Cup rankings for women's downhill. She took silver in the super-G and giant slalom at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, with those medals alone making her the most decorated Slovenian Alpine skier in Olympic history. Adding the nation's first Alpine skiing gold certainly won't hurt Maze's legacy, even if Wednesday's field was a bit thinned out by injuries.

American skier Lindsey Vonn, who finished 2013 atop the women's downhill rankings, is out for the Olympics due to a knee injury. Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather crashed during training Sunday, suffering a leg injury that held her out of Wednesday's race. Weirather was viewed as a legitimate medal contender, while a healthy Vonn likely would have been the favorite to take gold.

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