Team USA skiing took gold for the first time ever in the mixed team parallel event at the World Championships Tuesday in Meribel, France. And Bend native Tommy Ford, who cut his teeth on the slopes of Mt. Bachelor, sealed the win for the Americans over Norway in the final.
Team Parallel is a mixed-gender event in which four skiers from each team take turns racing side-by-side on identical slalom courses. The combined time determines the winner.
In the first run, USA’s Nina O’Brien beat Norway’s Kristin Lysdahl by 0.13 seconds.
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Next up was Norwegian Alexander Steen Olsen vs. American River Radamus. Steen Olsen would come out on top by 0.04 seconds.
Then it was American Paula Moltzan vs. Norway’s Thea Louise Stjernesund. It was a dead heat, with both finishing in 22.74 seconds.
That set the stage for Ford vs. Timon Haugan — with Ford wearing his black racing helmet with the Mt. Bachelor logo emblazoned on it.
It turned out to be no contest as Haugan took off too early, then got his ski tips caught in the start gate and nearly crashed right there. Ford didn’t let that distract him, crossing the line for the gold.
Canada took the bronze.