PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Switzerland’s Alpine combined gold medal winner Michelle Gisin said her sister Dominique’s downhill triumph at Sochi four years ago had inspired her to “reach for the stars”.
Gisin was third fastest in the downhill leg of the competition and was quick enough in her slalom run to hold of the challenge of American Mikaela Shiffrin to secure gold.
It prompted another day of celebration for the Gisin family, although Michelle insisted sibling rivalry was not a motivator.
“There was never competition. It was the biggest moment of my life when she won that gold and I think today was one of the biggest moments of our lives, but her gold will forever be the biggest thing,” she said.
“She made me believe that you can grab the stars and that’s what I did today.
“Now we’re going to celebrate and party really hard in our hometown Engelberg, but it has to wait because I’ve got three more weeks of World Cup skiing,” she added before a moment of homesickness broke through.
“I’m really looking forward to coming home. I miss home, I miss the cheese, the chocolate, let’s go home,” she said.
Shiffrin was, for many, the favorite in the combined event, while Swiss team mate Wendy Holdener, whose sizzling slalom run of 40.23 seconds earned her a bronze medal, was also seen as a challenger.
“It’s amazing to be on the podium with two such amazing skiers and I knew I will have to show the slalom of my life to have a chance to get that medal and to get that gold medal,” the 24-year-old Gisin added.
“I’m just so excited that I found my run. I’ve been looking for that run the whole season and it came at just the perfect moment.
“I didn’t feel I could make that slalom. I have to be honest because I was struggling so bad with the slalom the whole season. Today was the day to finally put all the pieces together in the slalom and that was the key.”
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by John O'Brien