Ties for Medals at the Winter Olympics

Ties at the Winter Olympics – how often have they happened? Tina Maze (SLO) and Dominique Gisin (SUI) tied for first this morning in the Alpine women’s downhill.

This is the 8th time at the Winter Olympics that 2 gold medals will have been awarded – note the phrasing as one of them was not a tie. The previous 7 times this has occurred were as follows:


Year Sport Gender Event
1928 Speedskating Men 500 metres
1956 Speedskating Men 1500 metres
1960 Speedskating Men 1500 metres
1972 Luge Men Doubles
1998 Bobsledding Men Two
2002 Cross-Country Skiing Men Pursuit
2002 Figure Skating Mixed Pairs


As is well known, the 2002 pairs figure skating was not exactly a tie, but a second gold medal was awarded after the controversial original finish when Canadians Jamie Salé and David Pelletier were ranked second behind the Russian pair of Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze.

There have been 25 previous ties for a medal at the Winter Olympics – 7 for gold, 11 for silver, and 7 for bronze. In 1968, three American female speed skaters had a three-way tie for the silver medal in the 500 metres.

At the Summer Olympics, a tie for first, or two or more gold medals awarded, has occurred 26 times. One of those was also controversial – the 1992 women’s solo synchronized swimming where American Kristen Babb-Sprague was initially ruled the champion, but a judging error caused officials to elevate Canadian Sylvie Fréchette to equal first with Babb-Sprague.

This morning’s Alpine skiing downhill tie is the first time this has ever happened in that sport. However, it is the 5th tie for a medal in Olympic Alpine skiing history:


Year Gender Event Tied Place
1948 Men Downhill Tie for third
1964 Women Giant Slalom Tie for second
1992 Women Giant Slalom Tie for second
1998 Men Super G Tie for second