Tina Maze Wins First Gold for Slovenia in Women’s Downhill at Sochi


Tina Maze, the 2013 World Cup Overall Champion, split the gold with Dominique Gisin in the women’s downhill event at Sochi. Both had the same exact time due to Maze having just a minor slip, until then, she had .4 of a second lead on Gisin.

Think about this:  Maze, Gisin and second place Gut were all separated by just .10 of a second. That means that nine inches separated first through third, and at the speed they are traveling, roughly 10 inches per hundredth of a second makes it even more amazing.

The gold is the first for Maze and her country Slovenia, and the first time in 30 years that Switzerland has brought home Winter Olympic gold.

These three women were all amazing, having near flawless runs. Both Maze and Gisin made history, as never before had that happened in Olympic alpine skiing. They even jumped upon the podium at the same time, if that wasn’t enough.

Slovenia will probably make this a day to be remembered in their country, not just the day their country finally won Winter Olympic gold, but that the one who brought that gold made history not just once, but twice.

While she has gotten her gold in this event, Maze will have other opportunities to win gold as well, by competing in the Super G, giant slalom and slalom events.  With only two million people in their country, and the economy being in crisis, it is incredible that the small country has so many great athletes doing so well.

Maze is no stranger to sharing a podium; before this, she shared the podium in a three way tie in her first World Cup win with Nicole Hosp from Austria, and Andrine Flemmen. The question of moving the timer to include the thousandth is a relatively new idea, and although others may like the idea of it, the two gold medalists are okay with just the hundredths, as they should be.

There are reasons for and against going to thousandths.  One argument made for the implementation of the extra decimal space is that it would pretty much ensure no tie ever happens.

Also, the fact that there are variables such as being outside in the elements, flying down a hill at ridiculously fast speed, and other intangibles that indoor sports like speed skating don’t have as much of, as they have their own set of intangibles to deal with.

Maze was edged out for a bronze by Mancuso on Monday in the super combined, so she has a couple medals already, and could increase her medal count if she does well enough in the three other events she is in.

Things didn’t go the smoothest for Maze, having to fire and hire a couple of people to get the team that would best suit her. Good thing she did, as she won a Winter Olympic gold for the first time for her and for her country as well.

The party is put on hold, for now, as everyone wants to see how she does in her two remaining events. It’s a safe bet that there will be a great homecoming party for Tina Maze in Slovenia after the Olympics.

By Justin Watts