After being postponed twice due to fog, the men’s 15-kilometer biathlon finally got underway Tuesday morning and gave us one of the most improbable and exciting moments of the Sochi Olympics thus far.
With the snow pouring down and less than 100 meters remaining in the race, Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen appeared to be pulling away from France’s Martin Fourcade down the final stretch before the finish line. Svendsen looked back moments before the finish line and thought his victory was safe.
The Norwegian didn’t notice Fourcade’s final desperation lunge toward the finish and raised his arms to celebrate moments before he crossed the line, and it nearly cost him his gold medal.
After over 40 minutes of skiing and shooting in less-than-ideal conditions it came down to a photo finish as both Svendsen and Fourcade officially finished at 42:29:1.
In the biathlon the winner is determined by whose boot crosses the finish line first, and luckily for Svendsen he narrowly edged the Frenchman in the boot department.
Here’s another look at just how close it was.
Fourcade’s desperation dive across the finish line may have come up short, but don’t feel too bad for the guy, because he has already won two gold medals in Sochi.
After Svendsen nearly threw away his gold medal he was overcome with emotion. Next time he’ll probably wait until after the race before he starts celebrating.