MIDWAY, Utah -- They have matching silver bands on their
left ring fingers, and now they have matching silver medals to go
around their necks.
Raphael Poiree of France and Liv Grete Poiree of Norway became
the first married couple to win Olympic medals while competing for
different countries Saturday.
Raphael Poiree took second in the men's 12.5-kilometer biathlon
pursuit, matching his wife's finish in the women's 15-kilometer
individual biathlon event Monday.
"It was so nice," she said. "It really makes mine that much
Liv Grete could have made it even better in the 7.5-kilometer
pursuit Saturday, but she missed two of her final five shots and
incurred two penalty loops that dropped her to fourth place.
She was disappointed with the result, but still happy with the
family feat. It was exactly what they had hoped for after years of
training together and supporting each other's flag.
"It has never been difficult," said Raphael, a French soldier
who works as a military customs officer in Chamonix. "Our
countries, Norway and France, make is easy. They know that if I'm
good it's because of her, and if she's good it's because of me."
They met at the 1992 World Junior Championships and began dating
four years later. Their relationship grew out of common interests,
and not just biathlon. They both love movies and outdoor
They were married in May 2000, three months after competing in
the World Championships.
Wearing different team colors has never been a problem. They
have a home in France, but spend much of their time on the road
training and competing. He pushes her to improve her skiing, and
she helps him with his shooting.
"We're always together," he said, adding that she is the
"essential key to his success."
-- The Associated Press