A gold medal for Lindsey Jacobellis in the women’s snowboard cross event at the Beijing Winter Olympics has been awarded to her. This is the first gold medal for the United States at these Games.
BEIJING, China — Lindsey Jacobellis, a snowboarder from the United States, believes that the fifth time is the charm.
The 36-year-old took home her first gold medal at the Beijing Olympics on Wednesday during the women’s snowboard cross event, giving the United States its first gold medal of the Games. She also holds the distinction of being the oldest American woman to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.
With this win, she was able to avenge her heartbreaking loss at the 2006 Torino Olympic Games. As she neared the finish line in that competition, she overindulged in celebration and ended up completely exhausted. Jacobellis was unable to maintain her lead over Tanja Frieden of Switzerland and finished second to take home the silver medal.
Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Sochi, and Vancouver all ended in disappointment for her.
Jacobellis, on the other hand, has stated that she does not see her gold medal as a vindication for Torino.
“That’s something I’d never considered before. That was not what I had in mind. I just wanted to come here and compete, so I did “” she explained. Trying to spend [time on] the concept of redemption would have been good, but I believe doing so would have distracted me from the objective at hand, which is not why I race.”
During the third day of the competition, Jacobellis maintained her concentration and defeated competitors Chloe Trespeuch of France and Meryeta Odine of Canada. In snowboard cross, four riders fight their way down a winding course, bumping and colliding with one another as they rocket over jumps at breakneck speeds. With a solid start, Jacobellis was never challenged, easily crossing the finish line ahead of Trespeuch, Odine, and Australian Belle Brockhoff, among others.
Jacobellis, who is nine years older than her podium-mate Tespeuch and twelve years older than bronze-medalist Odine, was thinking about her 36th birthday while she prepared for the competition.
“It feels great because the level at which all of the women are riding is far higher than it was 16 years ago,” Jacobellis said of the ride. “So I considered myself a winner simply by virtue of having advanced to the finals, which has proven to be a difficult feat each time.”
Jacobellis’ victory brings an unusual five-day streak of no gold medals for the United States at the Winter Games to an end with his victory.
It has taken the United States an average of 1.75 days to win its first gold medal in the Winter Olympics in the last eight competitions.