Three To Go
Kostelic had to tackle the super-G before moving onto her best events—the slalom and giant slalom. A few weeks earlier, she had finished fourth in the super-G during a World Cup competition in Cortina, Italy. The Olympics brought out the competitive quality, however, last evident in Kostelic's championship 2000-01 season. She missed Olympic gold in the super-G by eight-hundredths of a second, finishing behind Italy's Daniela Ceccarelli. Medal No. 2 was silver.
The women's slalom was run in a steady snowstorm on a treacherous course. Poor visibility obscured holes and ruts. Thirty skiers failed to finish one of their first two runs. Once again, Janica Kostelic overcame the obstacles to win. It was her second gold medal and third medal overall.
She faced difficult course conditions again as she sought her record-breaking fourth medal in the giant slalom. "Because she is not ranked among the top competitors worldwide in the giant slalom," Pennington explained in the Times, "Janica Kostelic began her pursuit of Olympic history as the 19th skier from the starting gate today. That meant she skied about a half-hour after the first of the favorites, enough time for the snow on the race course to develop ruts like foxholes. But it takes more than ruts to hinder Kostelic." After the first run, Kostelic led the field by nearly a half-second, a sizeable margin. She was the 15th skier—the last of the leaders—to tackle the second run. She beat the field again and captured her fourth medal in nine days. Pennington likened her astonishing achievement to a runner winning both a 400-meter and a one-mile race. "Kostelic, as healthy as she has been in two years, is crossing over from category to category and beating the speed specialists in the speed events, like the super-G, and defeating the technicians in a technical event like the slalom," he wrote. "In these Olympics, there is no other skier—male or female—in Kostelic's class. In any single Olympics, there has been no other skier in Kostelic's category: four-time medal winner."
- Janica Kostelic - Awards And Accomplishments
- Janica Kostelic - Olympic Uncertainty
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