The ski jumping event is one of the most popular sports in the Winter Olympics and as expected, it had a thrilling finish that saw one of the best riders in the world take home the gold medal in the final jump of the event.
When everything was on the line, it seemed like Austria was going to take at least one medal. They had the top two scores when only three athletes were left, but they were the three best scores of the first round, so there was room for an upset. In the end, their hopes were crushed as the trio that finally got into the podium duly delivered.
Kamil Stoch, Anders Bardal and Peter Pervc were the top three scorers in the first round, so they had to close the final and their jumps changed the whole landscape of the competition. Both Bardal and Pervc executed jumps that were close to perfection and while the Slovakian finished with a 265.3 score, the Norwegian put up a respectable 264.1 that placed them as first and second, respectively. They also put up a huge pressure on Stoch’s shoulders, as he needed a perfect jump to clinch the gold medal.
But Stoch showed that he is in a whole different level and answered to the role of favorite he had before the start of the event. Stoch received perfect scores from two judges and finished the competition with 278.0, 13 points clear of Pervc. His movements were perfect on both rounds and he’s a deserved winner; he also confirmed his elite status in a sport that requires accuracy, strength and a good deal of luck.
Stoch didn’t need luck though. He’s an elite jumper and his Olympic gold medal surely confirms it.