Sochi, Russian Federation (4E Sports) – Sandro Viletta of Switzerland pulled off a big surprise, winning the gold medal in the men’s super combined event at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
The 28-year-old Viletta was 14th after the downhill but delivered a superb performance in the slalom to beat Croatia’s Ivica Kostelic by 0.34 seconds. Italy’s Christof Innerhofer came in third.
“This is amazing, it’s perfect, it’s more than a dream come true. It’s also a big shock. I didn’t think I would come first. I’m so happy,” said Villeta, who was 14th in the super-combined in Vancouver and had one World Cup victory to his name.
Viletta, competing in his second Olympics, erased the 1.64-second deficit and stormed ahead by by recording the second fastest time in the slalom.
Then, he waited anxiously at the bottom as a host of more illustrious names failed to beat his combined time of two minutes and 45.20 seconds.
Defending champion Bode Miller finished 1.4 seconds for sixth place as his search for a sixth Olympic medal continued.
Miller’s fellow American Ted Ligety, the World Cup super-combined leader, struggled to 12th, 2.19 seconds back.