Swiss Schmid wins first ski cross Olympic gold

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Michael Schmid of Switzerland snatched the first ever ski cross Olympic gold as he pushed himself forward in the men's ski cross final at the Vancouver Olympic Winter GamesĀ in VancouverĀ on Sunday.

"Today was almost perfect. I had very fast skis and all the small things were great," said a delighted Schmid who was credited to Switzerland's fifth gold at the Vancouver Games. It is also the third freestyle skiing Olympic gold of Switzerland.

Schmid led the qualification in one minute and 12.53 seconds and kept finishing the following three knockout stage races first to advance in the big final.

Then the 25-year-old construction worker overcame strong opponent Andreas Matt of Austria to win the Olympic debut event.

The 27-year-old world champion Matt finished second and Norwegian Audun Groenvold grabbed the bronze medal.

Canadian hopeful Christopher Delbosco fell off after a big jump and failed to finish.

"The start was very important," said Schmid who managed to push himself forward every time in the four-men mass start competition. However, he could not explain why he could have great starts so as to ask help from bronze medallist Groenvold.

Looking at the Swiss in a height of 1.93m, Groenvold gave his answer to the journalists, "Because he really has long legs."

Matt, who claimed Austria's first Olympic medal in freestyle skiing, also admitted that Schmid's start was amazing. "Michael is incredible fast and has perfect start. My strategy was just trying to stay behind him and not to make any mistake."

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