Alpine Skiing

Greg Hughes - Monday Feb. 10, 2014 07:11 ET

Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch wins women's super combined

Marie-Michèle Gagnon crashes in slalom run

Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany
Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany wins the gold medal in the women's super combined. (Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)


Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch won Olympic gold in women's super combined for the second straight time. 

Combining her fifth place finish in her downhill run with her third place finish in the slalom, the 29-year-old held off a deep field to win at Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort on Monday with a total time of two minutes, 34.62 seconds.

"It was a big fight and it wasn't easy because the snow was tough and bumpy. The hill was steep at the start, which I found especially difficult," says Hoefl-Riesch. "It didn't feel great, but I skied fast enough. I was able to keep my skis going and didn't break too much in the turns."

Hoefl-Riesch won the third Olympic gold medal of her career. She claims the Sochi Olympics will be her final Winter Games.

"I knew this would be the best chance for a medal, and I knew it would be difficult to get one if I didn't win today."

Austria's Nicole Hosp placed fourth in her slalom run, ending up with a total time of 2:35.02 and earning the silver medal.

Mancuso: "I feel amazed."

American skier Julia Mancuso led after the first run, a downhill where she was nearly a half-second faster than anyone else. But slalom is not her specialty and she placed 13th, just good enough to deny Slovenia's Tina Maze of a medal.

Even though she settled for third place overall, Mancuso was thrilled about her medal. She is now the most decorated woman skier in American Olympic history, with one gold, two silvers and one bronze in her Olympic career. 

"This has been an unbelievable day. To win another medal is just a dream come true," says Mancuso.

"I dedicated this to my grandpa. He had always encouraged me, but he passed away a year ago. We had hoped he would make it to this Games, but it's a great feeling that he has been watching from above."

Marie-Michèle Gagnon, the lone Canadian in the race, had difficult races on both the downhill and slalom courses. The 24-year-old Lac-Etchemin, Que., native crashed in her slalom race and dislocated her shoulder.

The next women's event is the downhill on Thursday, and Hoefl-Riesch and Mancuso will be strong contenders to add to their career medal count.

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