Norway's newly-crowned Olympic champion Kjetil Jansrud admitted Sunday that winning super-G gold felt like a fairytale after he had endured the misery of torn knee ligaments a year ago.
The race produced an unexpected podium with Jansrud finishing ahead of US skier Andrew Weibrecht, while Canada's Jan Hudec and US ski star Bode Miller tied in third place.
"I must say this is quite a fairytale that it all comes together on such a day at the Olympics," the 28-year-old Norwegian said after winning his third Olympic medal and second in Sochi.
"But it's not a coincidence because it's something about the work that's been done by my team and also by myself," he insisted.
"It's one of those cliches that hard work pays off... It was a big blow getting injured at the world championships last year but I got a clean ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear."
"The coach told me I had a good prognosis for recovery so I had that going for me at the start, and we put down a lot of effort.
"That's the only thing. You can't really do anything than try to be smart but also put down enough work that you can succeeed."
Jansrud's gold extends Norway's winning streak in men's super-G to four Olympic Games, equalling Austria's record between 1952-1964.
But the skier, who now has a full set of Olympic medals -- giant slalom silver in 2010, downhill bronze and super-G gold in Sochi -- refused to be named in the same breath as legendary compatriots Kjetil Andre Aamodt and Lasse Kjus.
"It's an honour to be on the top of the podium in an Olympic competition," he just said.
- 'It means I'm old -
"It's something you dream about from when you were a kid. I was one of those kids, so being here is an amazing feeling."
Recalling silver-medallist Andrew Weibrecht's run, which long looked like it could be good enough for gold, he chuckled: "My legs were a little jelly there for a second."
Weibrecht has also had to battle back from injury and was humbled by his new feat on Sunday, having failed to make any major podiums since winning super-G bronze in Vancouver.
"It's been a really difficult four years," said the 28-year-old. "You can only be beat down so many times before you start to look at what you're doing.
"I don't know how many more beat-downs I could take without getting something positive. So today is a great affirmation of all the work that I've done."
Tied in third place for bronze were Hudec and Weibrecht's teammate Miller, who became the oldest Olympic medallist in alpine skiing at 36 years and 127 days, beating Aamodt's previous record.
"It means I'm old," Miller deadpanned when asked what such records meant.
"I feel really lucky and happy about today," added the six-time Olympic medallist, who had set his sights on a medal in the downhill and super-combined but landed off the podium.
Sunday's results were all the more emotional following the death of his brother last April.
"It was just a lot of emotion to have things go well today as well as they did. I'm still very fortunate to come out with a medal. Everything felt pretty raw and pretty connected for me."
For Hudec, a 2007 world silver-medallist in downhill: "It's nothing short of a miracle that I was able to compete at this level and I'm thankful to be on the podium with these guys."
"To be tied with (Miller) is pretty cool," he added. "As long as they don't give me just half of the medal," he said with a grin.