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Olympics / Sports

Super combined silver medalist had inside knowledge

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia -- Olympic silver medalist Ivica Kostelic might have had a special advantage Friday in the slalom run of the super combined: his father created the hair-pulling course.

Ante Kostelic won the right to set the course after a lottery among those coaches whose countries had a skier ranked in the top 15.

No everyone smiled after the Croatian won the bid for the second consecutive Olympics because Ante Kostelic enjoys testing skiers through the gate-filled slalom.

Twelve of the 46 starters failed to successfully navigate the gates in slushy snow, adding to the treachery of the day.

Kostelic, the first alpine skier to win four Olympic silver medals, has heard the complaints from fellow skiers.

"His setting is old fashioned, the way the courses used to look like before the measuring was introduced into the World Cup," said Ivica, who won his second silver medal in the combined event.

"Course setters are like skiers--some are gifted and some are not," said Ivica, whose sister Janica retired with six Olympic medals.

Ivica Kostelic doesn't like dad's courses because of the family connection. Instead, he was trained by his father to handle the trying descents.

"In his courses, there are no accidental winners," Ivica Kostelic said. "You need to be a good skier to ski smart in a course like that."

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