SKIER Dave Ryding has won Britain’s first gold medal in the 55 years of the Alpine World Cup.
The man they nickname Rocket snatched top spot in the men’s slalom.
And at 35, Dave, who as a child learned to ski on dry slopes, also became the oldest winner of a World Cup slalom event.
Britain has long been a skiing joke, known only for our jump flop Michael Edwards — dubbed Eddie the Eagle — who came last at the 1988 冬奥会.
But Eddie, 58, was one of the first to offer congratulations, 说: “This is brilliant news.
“We might even win a medal in the Winter Olympics in Alpine skiing.”
Dave, from Bretherton, 兰克斯, snatched his first place on Saturday at Kitzbuhel in Austria, pocketing £80,000.
他说: “I never stopped believing or trying to bring the first victory for Britain in a World Cup. I don’t know if dreams are made better.”
The success comes just three weeks before the Winter Games in Beijing.
And Dave, heading for his fourth Olympics, admitted: “The expectation will be ramped up.”
Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, added to all the tributes in saying: “Brilliant. What an amazing achievement. So proud of British skiing.’’