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No biggie: Polish skier Justyna Kowalczyk wins gold medal with a broken foot

Kevin Kaduk
Fourth-Place Medal

Thought a small thing like a broken foot was going to keep Justyna Kowalczyk from another gold?

Think again. Despite fracturing her foot last month, the 31-year-old Polish star cruised to victory in the 10k classical race on Thursday. Kowalczyk finished the course in 28 minutes, 17.8 seconds, 18.4 seconds ahead of silver medalist Charlotte Kalla of Sweden. It's the second gold medal for Kowalczyk, who won the 30k classical style at the 2010 Vancouver Games. 

"I felt an ache in my foot, but I overcame it," Kowalczyk told reporters. "We knew what we were here for. It was unlucky that it happened to me. Everything was going wrong, but I am not one of these people who give up."

Kowalczyk posted an X-ray of her foot on Facebook earlier this week and scoffed at the thought it would slow her down. She told reporters she took a painkiller to numb the pain before the race. 

Yet despite her confidence, Kowalczyk was still overcome with emotion after she crossed the finish line. Here she is crying "tears of joy ..." 

View photo


(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

...  while this funny picture quickly made its way around Twitter ... 

This is Poland's second gold medal of the games.

Men's ski jumper Kamil Stoch won the first one in the normal hill competition on February 9.

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Kevin Kaduk is a writer for Yahoo Sports.. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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