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2014 Winter Olympics

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Justyna Kowalczyk: Polish Olympian wins women's 10K with fractured foot

Justyna Kowalczyk smiles as she accepts her gold medal.
Justyna Kowalczyk smiles as she accepts her gold medal.
David Goldman

Justyna Kowalczyk's favorite event is the women's cross-country 10-kilometer classical race, and she was totally prepared to tackle it at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. On Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, she did just that, but no-one expected the Polish Olympian to do it with a fractured ankle.

She can now be considered the all-time greatest Polish Winter Olympian in history thanks to taking away Norway's stranglehold on the event she loves so much. An event she won a gold medal in on Thursday in Sochi.

SEE: Top 12 awesome helmet deigns from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

It was just weeks ago that Justyna Kowalczyk fractured her ankle, but she was able to capture her fifth overall medal for Poland. She did it by finishing in 29min 17.8sec which was a giant 18.4sec ahead of her closest competitor, Charlotte Kalla of Sweden.

Kalla took the silver medal.Therese Johaug of Norway took the bronze medal.

"It's something big for me because I broke my foot two weeks ago," said Kowalczyk, who wept during the flower ceremony. "I was fighting with myself with this injury."

The warm weather again played havoc with a number of skiers as it was 12 degrees C (54 degrees F) at the start of the race. Some racers went with short-sleeve uniforms while others didn't have any sleeves at all.

Be sure to check back with the National Sports Examiner for lots of Olympic coverage, and every single night for a full medal count for all countries.

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