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Second place is the first loser? Not to Italian skier Christof Innerhofer

Feb 9, 2014, 10:43 AM EDT

Sochi Olympics Alpine Skiing Men AP

Italy’s Christof Innerhofer finished a mere six one-hundredths of a second behind men’s downhill winner Matthias Mayer. Considering how close he was to the gold medal, one would assumed he’d be crushed over the near-miss.

But Innerhofer, who has battled with chronic back pain in recent years after claiming three medals – one of each color – in the 2011 world championships, had himself a big celebration instead.

MORE: Matthias Mayer claims men’s downhill gold

Per the Associated Press, Innerhofer whooped it up in front of TV cameras before falling to the snow. He continued expressing his happiness on the podium he shared with winner Mayer and bronze winner Kjetil Jansrud of Norway.

Afterwards, he declared to the press that his silver was “worth like 10 wins.”

You can’t help but grin seeing these photos of Innerhofer enjoying the moment he became an Olympic medal winner. His previous best finish in the Olympics had been an sixth in the super-G at Vancouver four years ago.

source: AP

Photo: AP

source: AP

Photo: AP

source: AP

Photo: AP

source: AP

Photo: AP

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