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Sunday, February 8, 1998 Published at 02:34 GMT

Sport: Winter Olympics 98: Snowboard

Canadian shredder makes Olympic medal history
image: [ France's Christophe Sugara makes history as the first snowboarder to take to the Olympic slopes ]
France's Christophe Sugara makes history as the first snowboarder to take to the Olympic slopes

Ross Rebagliati of Canada won the first Olympic men's giant slalom snowboard gold medal Sunday with a time of 2 minutes, 03.96 seconds.

It is the first time that snowboarders, known as shredders, have taken part in the winter Olympics.

First-run leader Jasey-Jay Anderson of Canada and Chris Klug of the United States, who was tied for second, both struggled in the foggy conditions on the second run and finished out of the medals.

Klug nearly fell, touching the snow with one hand to stay upright and losing valuable time. He finished the second run in 1:05.87 and wound up sixth at 2:05.25.

Anderson slipped down on his second round and finished 13th in 2:11.33.


With their rebel image, hip-hop look, grunge lingo and thrash-metal tunes, snowboarders certainly bring a new dimension to the staid Olympics.

But the weather almost wrecked the party. The first run was held under bright, sunny skies at Mount Yakebitai, but the second run was nearly wiped out by the same weather front that hit the men's downhill in Hakuba earlier in the day.

The second run was halted after five competitors went down. The race resumed 15 minutes later even though visibility remained poor.

Rebagliati was the first competitor down after the delay and posted a time of 1:04.09 that was good enough for the gold.

Two other favourites, Nicolas Conte and Christophe Sugara of France, fell on the second run.

Thomas Prugger of Italy won the silver in 2:03.98 and Ueli Kestenholz of Switzerland the bronze in 2:04.08.

In the women's giant slalom on Monday, France's Karine Ruby, who won six straight events on the World Cup circuit this season, is the favourite.

Final standings

  • 1 R Rebagliati (Can) 2mins 03.96secs,
  • 2 T Prugger (Ita) 2:03.98,
  • 3 U Kestenholz (Swi) 2:04.08,
  • 4 D Krassnig (Aut) 2:04.33,
  • 5 M Bozzetto (Fra) 2:04.57,
  • 6 C Klug (USA) 2:05.25,
  • 7 M Freinademetz (Aut) 2:05.34,
  • 8 M Idesheim (Fra) 2:05.52,
  • 9 D Happ (Aut) 2:07.05,
  • 10 T Remmelink (Ned) 2:07.25.


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