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Tina Maze wins Olympic Giant Slalom

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) -- Tina Maze earned her second gold medal of the Sochi Olympics on Tuesday, winning from the front in a rainy and snowy giant slalom.

Wearing bib No. 1, Maze skied through the gates cleanly to defend her big first-run lead and finish 0.07 seconds ahead of Anna Fenninger of Austria.

Defending champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany was third, trailing 0.27 behind Maze's two-run time of 2 minutes, 36.87 seconds.

American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin placed fifth in her Olympic debut.

Maze celebrated by belly-flopping onto the snow and pretending to swim the breaststroke.

She added giant slalom gold in the rain to the tie for victory in a sunbathed downhill last week. The 30-year-old Maze also won giant slalom silver at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

After Maze, a further 44 lower-ranked skiers still had their second run. They included pop-classical violinist Vanessa-Mae, who raced for Thailand as Vanessa Vanakorn. She was the slowest of 74 first-run finishers, 26.98 seconds behind Maze, and was the scheduled last.

One absentee in the original 90-racer lineup was Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, who skipped her weakest event because of a cold and breathing problems.

Hoefl-Riesch, the super-combined champion and super-G silver medalist, went to the course to warm up Tuesday but chose not to race. She is expected to defend her slalom title on Friday and challenge for a record-equaling fourth career Olympic gold in women's Alpine skiing.

Julia Mancuso, GS champion at the 2006 Turin Olympics, skied out midway down the last slope in her final event.

"That's a wrap for me here in Sochi. It's been inspiring! Thanks for all the support and Love! (hash)GoUSA!!! Now I get to celebrate my Bronze!!!," Mancuso, who got her medal in super-combined, wrote on her Twitter account.

Maze has been the most consistent women's skier at the Sochi Games. Mancuso edged her off the super-combined podium by just 0.10 seconds and she was fifth in super-G.

Her victory Tuesday recaptured her standout form in GS last season when she had top-three finishes in all 10 races, including a silver medal at the world championships.

Driving snow and sleet delayed the second run for nearly 15 minutes from its scheduled 1 p.m. (0900 GMT) start, though it slowed to a drizzle when the medal contenders raced.

Course workers scattered salt to firm the snow surface, which was already softened by days of sunshine.

The first run was completed in the morning despite persistent rain on lower sections and the first snowfall at the Sochi Olympics higher up.

Racers struggled to carve clean turns as their skis pushed the soft snow aside.

"It's like skiing on sugar," sixth-place finisher Maria Pietilae-Holmner of Sweden said after the first run. "It's hard to ski the way you want to ski."

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bambi4318.barbara February 18 2014 at 6:50 PM

I read one item that said Sochi is a summer resort but here we are with the Winter Olympics. Go Figure.

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kmclancy1 February 18 2014 at 3:02 PM

You can have my snow too in Chicago!!

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db1219 February 18 2014 at 1:20 PM

If you want snow, come to New York or any of the New England states. We have TONS of it here!!! You can come to my yard and haul it away----especially from my driveway.

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lajocanda February 18 2014 at 1:01 PM

Geoengineered snow. Snow storms are being engineered with well established weather modification processes. Two known patents for the process of “artificial ice nucliation for weather modification” - See more at:

Geoengineered Snow Storms Wreaking Havoc around the Globe

LIVE Updated - The Most Important Topic of Our Time - GeoEngineering & chemtrails

Chemtrails. The Realities of Geoengineering and Weather Modification

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2 replies to lajocanda's comment
Mark February 18 2014 at 1:53 PM

More right wing made up trash. Get a life. Better yet, get an education.

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edmigol February 18 2014 at 6:20 PM

Dream on

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tmoschetti February 18 2014 at 11:50 AM

Global warming caused, "Snow and sleet plague the Giant Slalom in Sochi"

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goodgrief61945 February 18 2014 at 10:35 AM

" scattered salt to firm the snow surface". Hmmm It melts snow here.

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1 reply to goodgrief61945's comment
rweruss February 18 2014 at 11:45 AM

it melts dilutes then refrezes

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jasoniver February 18 2014 at 10:29 AM

anyone know how america and canada both ended up in the same side of the medal rounds. could it be that they want russia to make the gold medal game since they don't have to play either team to bet there

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Mae February 18 2014 at 10:19 AM

why did this place be pick with every thing that could go wrong and did who every was the one that pick this place got a kick back shame on you

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mistergg69 February 18 2014 at 9:18 AM

Why did they have Winter Olympics in an area that averages 50 degrees highs during the winter?

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4 replies to mistergg69's comment
oldebtgoodie February 18 2014 at 8:12 AM

Amazing that Bodie doesn't hold Cristin accountable for her interview and said he has no hard feelings against her. If he is the offended party and holds no malice who died and made you GOD Dave? He is the one who should place the blame and he says he doesn't blame her so you might shut your mouth and do likewise unless you just like to stir chit

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1 reply to oldebtgoodie's comment
dave1marine February 18 2014 at 9:02 AM

Never claimed to be God. Bodie Miller by his OWN WORDS thanked the American people for defending him.
I'm FAR from being the only one to criticize that inept and callous corrospondent.
ANYONE except yourself of course, could see what she was doing.

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