In a sport loaded with uncertainty, Sandra Naeslund of Sweden has clearly figured out how to succeed invariably. She put on a clinic Thursday in the women’s ski cross big final, claiming Olympic gold at the 2022 Winter Games for her 10th major title of the season.
The two-time world champion led the entire medal-deciding race from start gate to finish, and earlier cruised through the bracket with wins in her semifinal, quarterfinal and eighth-final, while also clocking the top time in seeding by nearly two seconds.
Switzerland’s Fanny Smith initially finished in third, repeating her 2018 result, but after a review, officials ranked her last due to contact and promoted German Daniela Maier to bronze. Smith was second to Naeslund in five of her nine World Cup victories this season.
Sochi Olympic champion Marielle Thompson of Canada, the only skier other than Naeslund to take first thus far at a 2021-22 World Cup, earned silver for her second career Games medal.
Naeslund, 25, placed fifth at the 2014 Olympics at age 17, missing out on the big final with a DNF in the semifinals. Four years later she took fourth in PyeongChang.
SEE MORE: Women’s Ski Cross Finals
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