American-born snowboarder Vic Wild won a surprise Olympic gold medal for Russia in parallel giant slalom Wednesday, minutes after his wife won bronze in the women's event.
Wild was half a second behind Switzerland's Nevin Galmarini before the second run of the final, but took full advantage of his opponent's errors to win by a two-second margin.
Slovenia's Zan Kosir, who overturned a 0.76-second disadvantage to beat German Patrick Bussler on the second run of the small final, came in third.
Wild’s wife, Alena Zavarzina, who won bronze for Russia in the women's event, played a key role in Wild's decision to switch allegiances to Russia in time for the 2011-12 season, citing the low funding for alpine snowboard events in the U.S.
Since then, Wild has become a snowboard heavyweight, winning world championship bronze last year and taking his first World Cup win in parallel slalom this season.