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Skicross race becomes a global melting pot
January 11, 2019

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WILMINGTON - In a race that most participants said was "fun," there was a little bit of drama as the scoreboard showed a tie at the end of the International Children's Winter Games skicross race on Thursday. But in the shadow of Whiteface Mountain, 2-one-thousandths of a second determined the winner.

The mixed skicross race consisted of 22 teams of four skiers - two boys and two girls - with nationalities also mixed. From the field of 22, 10 finals teams took to the course on a day so windy that many of the mountain's lifts were shut down. And while the scoreboard at the finish line only counted times to the hundredth of a second, timers determined a winner after looking at the third decimal place.

The team of Maj Vorsei (Slovenia), Alex Thisted (Colorado), Laetitia Hartmann (Switzerland) and Alex Wright (Lake Placid) took the gold medal with a combined time of 109.397 seconds. The silver medal winning team of Sonja Toishi (Lake Placid), Eldur Orri (Iceland) and Matis Crettenand (Switzerland) missed out of the top of the podium with a time of 109.399. The silver medal team had one member scratch before the race.

Third place went to an all-European team, with Raphael Herrmann (Switzerland), Audur Drista Hardardottir (Iceland), Anna Gkakoudi (Greece) and Hungary's Botond Viragh, who combined for a time of 109.74.

Skicross is a race with big banked turns and some little risers that skiers get some air off of. Each team of four (or three) started at the same time and a combined final time determined the winners. Local skiers did well in the race, with Anna Reynolds on the fourth place team, Cole Paton on the fifth place team, Dan Kelleher on the seventh, Micaela Leonard on the ninth place team and Carter Day on the 10th-place team.

Wright said after a week of competition, the mixed skicross race was one of the most enjoyable he participated in.

"It was awesome, I had a lot of fun," he said. "Having the international experience and skiing with people you don't really know, it was just overall a fun day. I thought it was a good experience; I had fun meeting some of them and it was a lot of fun competing with them and against them.

"The language barrier was one challenge, but we all tried to speak each others' languages; we all learned some of each others' languages. Today was a fun part because we got to do the skicross, which is a fun event after all the competitive races like GS. So today was the most fun."

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