Tenths of a second weren’t nearly enough to determine who won this race.
The race results show that biathletes Martin Fourcade of France and Simon Schempp of Germany both finished with a time of 35.47.3, but tenths of a second weren’t enough to distinguish a winner. The 15km race required finish line photos to determine who would earn gold and which racer would be relegated to silver on the podium.
Unfortunately, the athletes were in lock-step to such a degree that even photos left fans and officials scratching their heads as to who the true winner was.
Here’s a look at the finish line:
Frenchman Martin Fourcade wins his second biathlon gold in a dramatic photo finish at #PyeongChang2018 (Xinhua phot… https://t.co/MxEXXO5o2x— Xinhua Sports (@Xinhua Sports) 1518960961
Here’s a video of the racers’ final stretch:
ICYMI: An INCREDIBLE finish in the #biathlon 🇫🇷 Martin Fourcade took #gold in what can only be described as a TRUE… https://t.co/bAxMgr6kJL— 7Olympics (@7Olympics) 1518994835
Ultimately, after study and countless reviews, it was #2, Fourcade, who was given the gold due to the fact that his left boot, which he shoved out in desperation, caused the first ski of either racer to cross the line.
He later joked, “I’m still waiting for them to tell me that I’m not the winner.”
Something tells me this decision is going to stick.
With the win, Fourcade has amassed four gold medals, making him the most decorated Winter Olympic athlete in France’s history, and meriting a shout-out from none other than French President Emmanuel Macron:
Au bout de l’effort et du suspense, @martinfkde nous fait vibrer et rêver une deuxième fois en offrant une nouvelle… https://t.co/84IwINUwmI— Emmanuel Macron (@Emmanuel Macron) 1518957639
Not only was he able to to get the gold, but Fourcade, along with a commendable effort by Schempp, gave us one of the most thrilling finishes in Olympic history.