The Olympic Games is always the stage for outstanding sporting achievements and memorable moments. For many nations it is also a moment of sporting “firsts”.
By winning the bronze medal in the luge event on Sunday Martins Rubenis brings the first Olympic Winter medal to Latvia.
Florence Baverel-Robert won the first major race of her career and brings France its first biathlon Olympic medal in an individual event with her victory in the 7.5 km sprint on Thursday. “I have worked hard for ten years,” she said, “I always knew that it was possible.”
Host nation success
Host nation Italy is also living Olympic firsts. Enrico Fabris skated to a bronze medal in the 5000m speed skating event bringing Italy not only its first medal of the Turin Games but it first ever Olympic medal in that discipline. “I was pushed on by the crowd” he says of his victory. Five days later, the whole crowd went into a frenzy as Italy beat Canada in the final to win gold in the men's team pursuit. Another first for the home nation.
It’s all in the family for Croatian skiing. Following in the footsteps of his younger sister Janica who has already won five Olympic medals for Croatia, Ivica Kostelic becomes the first male Croatian alpine skier to win an Olympic medal. The 25 year-old Zagreb native took the silver medal in the men’s combined.
Australia also sees its first Olympic Winter Games medal in freestyle skiing with a gold medal for Dale Begg-Smith in the men’s mogul event. Begg-Smith is also the discipline’s youngest gold medalist at 21 years and 28 days.