Winter Olympics: Snowboarding's first gold medal

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The Independent Online
Canada's Mark Rebagliati won the first Olympic snowboarding gold medal yesterday, battling through heavy snow and fog to win the men's giant slalom at Shiga Kogen, Japan.

Rebagliati, who was 0.56sec off the pace after the first leg, came back with a brilliant second run to edge out Italy's Thomas Prugger by just 0.02sec and provide a thrilling finish to snowboarding's Olympic debut.

The Canadian had a combined winning time of 2min 3.96sec. The Swiss Ueli Kestenholz took bronze, 0.12 sec behind.

"The fog and snow were so heavy at times, you could really only see a couple of gates in front of you," said the 26-year-old Rebagliati. "But I just kept trying to push myself and attack the course and hoped I would keep my board under me."

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