Team USA has finally ended its drought at the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 after snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis rolled back the years to claim the top spot in the dramatic snowboard cross final.
This was the fifth Games for the 36-year-old snowboard cross star. In an adrenaline-fueled rollercoaster of an event, Jacobellis kept her nerve and delivered a fearless performance over a breathtaking course consisting of bumps, drops, and sharp turns.
During the nerve-wracking race at the Genting Snow Park, the girl from Connecticut deservedly took top honors, France’s Chloe Trespeuch came second, and Canada’s Meryeta Odine took third place. Favorites Charlotte Bankes (Great Britain) and Michela Moioli (Italy) both missed out on a medal.
Although Jacobellis has dominated her chosen sport for the best part of 20 years, prior to the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022, an Olympic gold had always eluded her. She won her last Olympic medal way back in 2006 at the Turin Winter Olympics, Italy. She was on course for the gold but heartbreakingly fell just before the line after showboating on the second-to-last and had to settle for silver. Her most recent win is a welcome atonement for the mishap of 16 years ago.
Jacobellis was clearly emotional at the finish line, and the win is historic in that it marks the longest gap between medals for female athletes from the United States. Per firtsportz.com, Jacobellis explained that she was not thinking of redeeming herself after the mistakes made in Turin. She clarified that that’s “not why I race. That’s not why I’ve been a competitor. I wanted to just come here and compete.”
Since Italy, the snowboarder has missed out on medals by the narrowest of margins in three consecutive Games. In 2018, she missed out on a Bronze by a whisker. In the Chinese capital, Jacobellis ensured history didn’t repeat itself and pulled out all the stops. She explained, “They can keep talking about the 2006 fall all they want because it really shaped me into the individual that I am. It kept me hungry and kept me fighting in this sport. This feels incredible because the level that the women are riding at today is so much higher than it was 16 years ago.” Jacobellis can now add the Olympic gold to her impressive trophy cabinet, which is already overflowing with ten X Games and six World Championship medals. Jacobellis’s gold is also a timely one for Team USA, who are experiencing their first-ever Olympics where they failed to secure a gold medal in the opening 20 events.