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Riesch sister act spoiled by tears

February 27, 2010 16:10 IST

Maria RieschMaria Riesch could have been excused for indulging in wild celebrations after outshining Lindsey Vonn by capturing a second Olympic Alpine skiing gold medal on Friday.

The modest German, however, refrained from yelling and jumping up and down too much in the finish area after braving awful conditions to claim the final women's event, the slalom.

The tall 25-year-old immediately went to hug her tearful young sister Susanne, who was in the hunt for a medal when she crashed out in the second run.

"It was a strange feeling," Riesch told reporters after following up her super combined triumph last week to become the most successful Alpine skier of the Vancouver Games.

"This is the greatest day of my life and, at the same time, my sister's world is falling apart. I felt so sorry for her, I had to console her."

Riesch's mother Monika and her father Sigi, cheering for their daughters on another miserable day of fog and snow at Whistler, also had mixed feelings.

"It was tough for them, too," Riesch said. "Never mind, we'll all go out for a beer tonight and it will be all right."

ECLIPSED VONN

A gifted all-rounder, Riesch could also have pointed out that she had done better than Vonn, who straddled a gate in the first run and will leave the Games with just two medals, gold in the downhill and bronze for Super-G.

"This is not the way I look at it," Riesch said when asked how if felt to have eclipsed the American speed queen, her closest friend and greatest rival on the circuit.

"It is difficult for us all-rounders because we are expected to win plenty of medals but Lindsey has a gold and a bronze and, given the circumstances with her injuries and everything, I'm sure she is happy to have done that," she added.

Riesch earned Germany's women their third Alpine skiing gold medal of the Games, with Viktoria Rebensburg winning the giant slalom, and their best overall Olympic result since Katja Seizinger and Hilde Gerg took three titles at the 1998 Games.

There is more to look forward to for Riesch in the near future with her home town, the Bavarian Alps resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, hosting the world championships next year.

"We could have a lot of fun there," she said.

Source:
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