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French Sweep Medals in Skicross at Sochi Games

KRASNAYA POLYANA — The sport may be unpredictable. The results looked like anything but a free-for-all.

France. France. France. Vive le skicross.

Jean-Frederic Chapuis led the first French medals sweep in Winter Olympics history Thursday, taking gold in the wild sport of skicross while Arnaud Bovolenta won silver and Jonathan Midol walked away with bronze.

"Two good friends. I cannot explain how it feels," Midol said. "We had a dream to make the podium with friends. The Olympic Games, three French on the podium is incredible."

The three quickly bolted ahead in front of the fourth finalist of Thursday's medal race, Canada's Brady Leman. Leman briefly passed Midol for the third position but wiped out two-thirds of the way down the mountain, meaning the French only had to stay upright to make history.

They did. Sort of.

The threesome skied to the line single file. Chapuis crossed first. Then Bovalenta. Then Midol, who could not regain his balance after the final, sky-high jump and tumbled down, skidding across the finish to win the bronze.

Later, they posed on the podium together: Chapuis in his Olympic-issue green bib, Bovalenta in blue, Midol in yellow. They all put hands on their own tricolor — the French flag — and held it aloft.

This marked the sixth podium sweep of the Sochi Games — adding to the four by the Netherlands' speedskating teams and one by the U.S. men's ski slopestyle squad on the same hill as the skicross competition.

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