For Tamara Tikhonova, the Calgary Olympics began inauspiciously as she placed only fifth in the 10km race. Three days later she earned the silver medal at 5km, missing a gold medal by only 1.3 seconds. In the next race, the 20km, she led a Russian sweep and won by more than 19 seconds. In the final women's cross-country event, the 4x5km relay, Tikhonova skied the third leg for the Soviet team and earned her second gold medal. The relay was considered so important in the USSR that the end of the live evening television news was delayed so that the results could be announced.