Husband and wife win snowboarding medals within minutes of each other Wednesday

Only a select group of athletes compete at the Olympics, and even fewer win Olympic medals. Thus, it's pretty remarkable to see a husband and wife both win medals at the same Olympics, especially when their triumphs come within minutes of each other. That's what happened Wednesday in the snowboarding parallel giant slalom, which saw Alena Zavarzina win bronze on the women's side minutes before her husband Vic Wild took gold on the men's side. Zavarzina is a native Russian from Novosibirsk in Siberia, while the American-born Wild obtained Russian citizenship after marrying her in 2011 and opted to compete for Russia given the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association's lack of funding for parallel giant slalom. That led to their back-to-back medals and their immediate celebration together. As Will Graves of The Associated Press writes, masses of Russian fans were there to cheer them on, too:

Zavarzina sprinted to embrace her husband after he captured gold while a large, heavily pro-Russian crowd waved flags and roared its appreciation. After the flower ceremony, Wild and his wife stood side by side holding a massive Russian flag and drinking in the moment.

A husband and wife both winning medals would have been memorable regardless of when it happened, but the two of them win medals within minutes of each other in the same place makes it even more remarkable. A cross-sport relationship likely wouldn't have led to that given the separation of most venues, and that wouldn't even be possible within many other Olympic sports thanks to the men's and women's competitions generally being held on different days. The parallel giant slalom's format also helped produce the immediacy of Wild and Zavarzina's celebration; most skiing and snowboarding disciplines are timed or judged and see just one rider on the course at a time, producing much more waiting to see whose time or score stands up, but parallel giant slalom features a series of head-to-head races, making the winners obvious right away. It led to a great and rare Olympic moment for Wild and Zavarzina Wednesday, and a memorable one.