Former US racer Vic Wild wins gold for Russia in parallel giant slalom at the Sochi Games

The Associated Press

Switzerland's Nevin Galmarini competes during men's snowboard parallel giant slalom heats at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

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KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Former U.S. snowboarder Vic Wild has won gold for Russia in the parallel giant slalom.

Wild rolled to victory in the final on Wednesday, overcoming a half-second deficit against Switzerland's Nevin Galmarini to win in front of a largely pro-Russian crowd.

Zan Kosir of Slovenia earned bronze in the event that is a mixture of snowboarding and Alpine skiing.

Wild's triumph came minutes after his wife Alena Zavarzina of Russia grabbed bronze in the women's event.

Wild grew up in White Salmon, Wash., but applied for Russian citizenship three years ago.

The 27-year-old joined the Russian men's snowboarding program and his career took off. He was third in last year's world championships and was easily the best rider at sun-splashed Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

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