Valenta wins first czech gold at the Olympics

Ales Valenta wins gold, photo CTK

Let's turn to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and the Czech teams first gold medal of the games. In the free-style skiing aerials event, Ales Valenta made Olympic history on Tuesday by becoming the first competitor to successfully execute - wait for it - a clean triple back flip with five twists. By Peter Smith.

Ales Valenta wins gold, photo CTK
This tricky jump had never before even been attempted at the Olympics and meant that the 29 year old Czech held off the challenge of local hero Joe Pack and Alex Grichin of Belarus, who finished second and third respectively.

Ales Valenta, photo CTK
A clearly ecstatic Valenta told reporters later that luck had played its part in his achievement.

"I do not know. I am so happy now but I think the greatest euphoria is yet to come. Of course I had to trust myself - but it was a lucky shot. It's a kind of jump that either works or not. You can never say you are sure to make it."

So - well done Valenta, and let's hope that the hockey team can match his achievement by bringing back the gold.