Teammates Ryan Regez and Alex Fiva finished one-two Friday in the men’s ski cross big final to capture gold and silver for Switzerland, the nation’s first title in the event since claiming its Olympic debut crown in 2010.
Reigning world champion Fiva, who clocked the fastest seed time, was out first over the wu-tangs, but World Cup leader Regez took over during the roller section and didn’t look back, leading the tandem the rest of the way through the finish line.
“In the end it’s so cool for Swiss ski cross to have a double victory after yesterday,” Fiva said, referring to teammate Fanny Smith‘s demotion to fourth in the women’s big final after apparent contact during the race.
Despite ranking 29th of 32 in seeding, ROC’s Sergey Ridzik finished third to repeat his bronze from PyeongChang. Swede Erik Mobaerg, bronze medalist behind Fiva at the 2021 World Championships, missed the podium in fourth.
Fiva and Regez hugged it out afterward in celebration. Fiva, 36, is now the oldest Olympic medalist in freestyle skiing, surpassing Alla Tsuper of Belarus, the 2014 Sochi aerials gold medalist at 34.
“What a crazy way it has been so far,” Regez said. “It’s more likely to be struck by lightening twice than actually to become an Olympic champion or even a medalist. It’s unreal.”
Regez has recorded five podiums thus far on the World Cup tour, notching a December victory in Innichen, Italy, and a pair of wins in January at the last two contests before the Games in Idre, Sweden.
Canada’s Brady Leman, entering the Games as the defending gold medalist, took last in his semifinal and had to settle for a second-place finish in the small final following a few start gate malfunctions.
Tyler Wallasch, the only U.S. ski cross competitor sent to the 2022 Games, took last in the second eighth-final after seeding 24th in 1:13.55 to finish 28th overall.
SEE MORE: Men’s Ski Cross Finals
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