Two surprise gold medals were taken at the Sapporo Winter Olympics in Japan on Friday (February 11).
WS PAN Mt Toine slalom course
CU Sign Course 1
MV Miss Nadig (Swiss) in gate
WS Nadig down, falls & over top of pole
WS Barbara Cochran (USA) starts & down course (3 shots)
MV Cochran (slow motion) skiing
WS Cochran down
MV Spectators and others congratulate Cochran
CU Result board
WS Winners on stand in heavy snow
WS Sapporo City PULL BACK to 90-metre jump
WS PAN Hill to spectators
CU Fortuna(Poland) & 2nd jump
WS ZOOM Spectators (2 shots)
WS Walter Steiner (Swiss) jumps
MV Three winners Fortuna lifted shoulder-high
Initials SGM/1644 SGM/1720
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Two surprise gold medals were taken at the Sapporo Winter Olympics in Japan on Friday (February 11). A relatively unknown skier from the United States, Barbara Cochran, took first place in the women's slalom after double-gold winner Marie Therese Nadig of Switzerland crashed in bad weather. He victory meant the first U.S. gold in Olympic alpine events since 1952.
Poland's Wojciech Fortuna was the second surprise of the day. The 19-year-old electrician, who had never done better than fifth place in Polish ski competitions, landed BEYOND the red danger line in the 90-metre ski jump to win the event.
SYNOPSIS: Sapporo, Japan....and the ninth day of the Winter Olympic there. Two surprise gold medals were taken in ski events... first, in the women's slalom at the course on Mount Teine.
Victory was NOT to go to Switzerland's teenage champion, 17-year-old Mario Therese Nadig, who has already won two gold medals in alpine events during these games. Trying for her third, she lost balance and crashed......
Instead, a relatively unknown skier from the United States, Barbara Cochran, won the gold-beginning with a leading time on the first run. On her second, she was behind on time at the lead....but she used her easy, skilful style to pull ahead of a powerful group of French girls her winning time....one minute 31.24 seconds. She was two hundredths of a second ahead of the silver medallist, and her victory was America's first in Olympic alpine events since 1952.
Daniels Debernard of France took second place, and team-mate Flerence Steurer came third for the bronze medal. They were the first French alpine medals at Sapporo.
Second surprise of the day was in the men's 90-metre jump at Sappore City. All eyes were on Poland's wojciech Fortuna, a 19-year-old electrician, who had built up a lead in his first jump, when he landed BEYOND the red danger line with a jump of 111 metres. His second, at 87.5, was sufficient to maintain his high average.......
Also with a good chance of winning the gold after the first jump was Swiss skier Walter Steiner, who hit 94 metres. On his second, he made 103....putting him only ten centimetres behind Fortuna's total of 219.9 metres to win the silver medal.
Fortuna, lifted shoulder-high when his victory was announced. cried for joy.... previously, he had only ever managed fifth place in a Polish ski competition. The bronze went to Rainer Schmidt of East Germany.