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For Russia with love: Snowboarder couple win big at Winter Olympics

Vic Wild clinches gold minutes after his wife Alena wins bronze for hosts

Rosa Khutor: Russian snowboarder Vic Wild was euphoric after winning Olympic gold in the men's parallel giant slalom yesterday — just minutes after his wife Alena Zavarzina took bronze in the women's event.

Russia's Vic Wild and wife Alena Zavarzina celebrate their snowboard parallel giant slalom wins at the Extreme Park yesterday. Pics/AFP
Russia's Vic Wild and wife Alena Zavarzina celebrate their snowboard parallel giant slalom wins at the Extreme Park yesterday. Pics/AFP 

"It's incredible to have won a medal along with Alena. If just one of us has success it's great but it's not that great," said Wild, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2012, a year after the couple were married.

"For both of us to have success on the same day is just incredible. I don't know how this happened, it's too good to be true."

Zavzarina paid tribute to her husband for the sacrifices he had made. "Vic was right about having success when one gets success and the other does not, it's not really great," she said. "I'm just very happy that we both did and I'm very happy Vic got gold because this is what he worked for.

'Simply amazing'
"He's so far from his home town. He did an amazing job, he had to switch countries, switch nationality and accept something that some people would not ever accept.

Russia's Vic Wild competes in the men's snowboard parallel giant slalom semis yesterday
Russia's Vic Wild competes in the men's snowboard parallel giant slalom semis yesterday 

"He has to deal with the Russian mentality and stuff he's not used to and be very flexible with people who don't understand what he's saying most of the time. He deserves it, I'm really happy and I'm going to cry now."

Wild, who was born in the small town of White Salmon in Washington state, said if it wasn't for his switch to Russia, he would never have won Olympic gold.

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