Vic Wild is from White Salmon, WA, but he won the gold in the men’s parallel giant slalom for Russia. His wife Alena Zavarzina won the bronze in the women’s event.
Wild claimed he did not have any support in his sport in America and wanted to quit. At the time he was dating Zavarzina and spending time in Moscow. He found a Russian coach, but needed to be a citizen. He could not gain it from the Russia Ministry of Sport so he and Zavarzina married in 2011.
Apparently he found the support he needed in Russia because he is now considered an elite snowboarder. He completely dominated the parallel giant slalom while the other favorites and previous Olympic medalists did not even make it past the opening round.
“I want to thank Russia for giving me the opportunity to win a gold medal,” Wild said after the win, which gave Russia its first gold in a snowboard event at the Olympic Winter Games. “My teammates helped me so much. I don’t think many of them like me, but I really appreciate it.”
Zavarzina almost won the gold, but could not hold onto the lead in the second run. She slid out while turning and Switzerland’s Patrizia Kummer, the gold medal favorite, took advantage of it to move ahead. Kummer won the gold medal. Zavarzina defeated Austria’s Ina Meschik for the bronze in a very close run.
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