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Sochi 2014: Pierre Vaultier wins 'miracle' snowboard cross gold

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Pierre Vaultier of France wins a "miracle" Olympic gold medal in the snowboard cross, to complete an amazing comeback from an anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered in December.

It can take an athlete up to nine months to recover from that injury, but Vaultier not only competed, he won a thrilling final duel with Russian Nikolay Olyunin to cross the in first place.

Of the 38 athletes competing in the event at Sochi's Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on Tuesday, 13 were disqualified or didn't finish as crashes and falls drew gasps and sharp intakes of breath from spectators.

The injury toll at the Winter Games is rising as bad weather and risk-taking by athletes combine to provide an element of danger that fans crave, yet has some competitors being carried off on stretchers. The number of athletes injured during Sochi 2014 isn't significantly different to the previous games in Vancouver four years ago, according to Mark Adams, a spokesman for the International Olympic Committee. "Winter sports are not without their risks, but we don't see any difference between this games and the last one," he told reporters. "The ski federation, as I understand, is very happy with the venue."