KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Laurenne Ross pushed past her Olympic nerves on Wednesday and finished a strong 11th in the women’s downhill at the Sochi Games.
Ross, 25, of Bend, Ore., was seventh out of the gate and finished the technical 2,713-meter course in 1:42:68.
Teammate Jacqueline Wiles, 21, of Canby, Ore., but currently residing in Park City, Utah, was the second woman to start and finished 26th in 1:44:25.
“I was nervous,” Ross said after the race. “It’s totally crazy to be here. I definitely got nervous but I turned that into excitement.”
In a surprise turn of events, Tina Maze of Slovenia finished in 1:41.57, matching the time Dominique Gisin of Switzerland had posted earlier. They will each receive a gold medal. Lara Gut of Switzerland was one-tenth of a second slower and claimed the bronze.
Julia Mancuso, a medal favorite, finished eighth, in 1:42:56; Stacey Cook of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., was 17th (1:43:05).
Ross, who lost a ski during the downhill race in Monday’s super combined and did not finish, said she was happy with her performance on Wednesday.
“I definitely was charging and took some risks and made a few mistakes and got tossed around a little but I’m happy with my attitude and how I went about it,” she said.