American Ted Ligety stormed to his second Olympic gold as he became the first non-European to win the men's Olympic giant slalom title.
The 29-year-old world champion, who won the combined in 2006, was quickest after the first run and beat France's Steve Missillier, 29, by 0.48 seconds.
Giant slalom champion
“This is the event I have been putting so much pressure on myself to win”
Another Frenchman, 22-year-old Alexis Pinturault, was third, 0.64 secs back.
Overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria was fourth, 0.94s back, while Bode Miller came 20th.
Ligety, whose gold in Turin eight years ago made him the USA's youngest men's alpine Olympic medallist, is also the world super-G and world super-combined champion.
He clocked 1:21.08 in the first run to lead by 0.93s from Czech Ondrej Bank, and held off of the charging French duo, despite only recording the 14th fastest time in run two, to cement his reputation as one of the all-time great giant slalom skiers.
"This is the event I have been putting so much pressure on myself to win, so to pull through is an awesome feeling," said Ligety, a four-time World Cup giant slalom champion.
"I feel really lucky I had such a good first run because I didn't have to take all the risks in the second."
Missillier was quickest in the second run to climb from 10th and clinch his first Olympic medal in his second Games.
Countryman Pinturault, the 2011 world junior giant slalom champion, posted the second best time to claim a first medal on his Olympic debut.
Miller's silver in the discipline in the Salt Lake Games in 2002 was the first - and only other time - a non-European had made the Olympic giant slalom podium.
He was bidding for a second medal of the Sochi Games and seventh overall, but was well off the pace in both runs and later pulled out of Saturday's slalom.
The 2014 super-combined bronze medallist, who had a knee reconstruction last year which caused him to miss most of the 2013 season, experienced swelling in the joint after the first run of the giant slalom.
"It is a little puffy," said the 36-year-old. "Slalom and GS are pretty tough on it, just a lot of really aggressive movements on the lower leg.
"I just have to manage it. As soon as it gets out of control and you get the swelling in there and everything gets irritated, it can be hard to get it back down."