Split-second finishes: The Sochi Games' close races

Nordic Combined - Winter Olympics Day 13

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Win by a nose? Come in by a hair's breadth? Squeak in by a heartbeat?

Closer. Closer. And faster. The Winter Games reminded spectators that world-class athletes are pushing the limits of human achievement — and only microseconds separate a gold from a silver.

And as Olympic competitors and observers know, often they're racing not against their fiercest rivals but against the clock. Then again, that's not always the case during the heats, in which athletes with the best time in their particular pack — not overall — qualify.

Scroll through to find 2014 victories measured in scant split seconds (and feel free to check the math at the Sochi Olympics site).

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