Outside magazine, May 1996
After a near crash at the top of the course, in which he momentarily skidded on his hip, Alberto Tomba recovered spectacularly to capture his first-ever world championship gold medal last February at Sierra Nevada, Spain. In what may be his competitive swan song, the 29-year-old three-time Olympic champion, who cancelled retirement plans at the end of last season for a final
crack at the only major event he hadn't conquered, whooped with glee after his triumphant giant slalom run. Then he returned to the podium 48 hours later to accept a second gold in the slalom. He also announced that he'd signed an exclusive contract to promote Colorado's Vail Mountain, whose officers were on hand to present him with a hand-tooled leather saddle, a black cowboy
hat, a horse named Rossi, and a deputy sheriff's badge. Naturally, this Tombamania managed to upstage a remarkable showing by the U.S. women's team. Picabo Street became the first American woman to win the world championship downhill, while teammates Hilary Lindh and Megan Gerety took third and fifth, respectively. Two weeks later, Street finished atop the World Cup downhill
standings for the second straight season.
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