Lindsey Jacobellis owns the snowboarding gold ransom in Beijing – Fastest way to lose 20 pounds

Her name became a verb to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, she was a punchline for late night TV hosts and haunted when she was nicknamed the worst sports show boat.

Lindsey Jacobellis thought her dream was over, but nowhere does the redemption story look like the Olympics, and that’s an honor.

She expressed her determination not to be defined for that, one day in Bardonecchia 16 years ago, but it was never far away, a quick Google search for her name and here, a momentary lack of competitive judgment from which he could not escape. Imagine the mistakes you made as a 20-year-old being repeated indefinitely for collective fun every four years without fail.

Snowboard Cross, a high-speed chase down a mountain interrupted by stretches of jumping and moguls, has been described as “Snow Nascar” and is one of the most exciting sports at the Games. They are strong and flow evenly, but for Jacobellis it is more of the latter than the former.

In Turin, she made the penultimate jump in women’s cross-country snowboarding with a decisive lead, her rivals admitting that they almost gave up. The line – and the gold – in sight, she tries to grab a holiday, only to collapse on landing and settle for silver, a medal she wore like a millstone.

She finished fifth in 2010, seventh in 2014 and fourth in 2018, barely missing the podium in Pyeongchang by three hundredths of a second.

From Torino, she won five world titles and ten X Games gold and 52 races at the World Cup, she dominated her sport like never before. She suffered three knee injuries that would have ended other careers and defeated everyone in her mid-age to win her place in other games. Now, maybe it’s worth it.

“It was never about redemption, I never thought of it that way, it takes away the focus on the task at hand and that’s not why I’m competing,” said Jacobellis, who won gold at Discovery +, Eurosport and the Eurosport app.

“It wasn’t that in my mind. I wanted to come here and compete and I felt like a winner just being in that final.

“I put 2006 a lot in the past and I did a lot of soul searching to realize that that moment does not define me as an athlete.

“I know that what I have achieved in this sport is enormous and I have been lucky to model this sport for two decades. What happened in Turin was not necessarily a motivation. I’m just a competitor and I’ve been since I was little.

“Every lady here had the ability to go out here and win, and that’s how our sport can work sometimes. It’s just a roll of the dice and it’s the way the stars line up, how your body feels, how your board goes, and it’s everyone’s game sometimes and they shouldn’t take the old woman. “

This was the worst start of the United States ever, in almost five days and with no gold to brag about – so far, Jacobellis, 36, has become the oldest American to win any sport. at the Winter Olympics.

The sport is full of sliding door moments, indeed Jacobellis believes that a victory 16 years ago could have marked the end of her snowboarding career.

“I probably gave up sports at the time because I wasn’t really having fun with him,” she added.

“It simply came to our notice then. I’ve won so many races and it’s too much for a young athlete to have on his plate.

“I was very young and extremely easy to market and I hope that doing so proves that older athletes can do the same.

“It’s definitely something that people don’t understand and you don’t realize how young some of these athletes are.”

Get a lot of contrasts like these Games, curling is a world far removed from the destruction of snowboarders, figure skaters could not be more different from garbage-talking bobsledgers.

But on a day when current American gold medalist Mikaela Shriffin was left in tears on the slalom course, after another disappointment, Jacobellis proves that she deserves to play the long game.

Watch all the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics live on Discovery +, Eurosport and the Eurosport app.

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