Team USA finally claimed its first gold at the Beijing Winter Olympics. Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis came through for the U.S., winning the women’s snowboard cross event on Wednesday morning.
The win also marked the first gold medal for Jacobellis in her fifth Olympics appearance. The 36-year-old won the silver medal in a heartbreaking fashion at her Olympics debut in Turin in 2006 and then fell short off the podium on the following three tries.
But this time around, Jacobellis wasn’t about to be denied. Instead, she delivered a masterful performance, jumping to an early lead over France’s Chloe Trespeuch and never looking back.
Jacobellis made history on Wednesday by becoming the oldest snowboarder to win an Olympic medal. She is now also the oldest female Team USA competitor to get the gold at any Winter Games event.
“This feels incredible because this level that all the women are riding at is a lot higher than it was 16 years ago,” said Jacobellis after the race. “So I felt like a winner just that I made it into finals because that’s been a challenge every time. All these ladies had the potential to win, and today it just worked out for me that my starts were good, my gliding was great, and everything worked for me today.”
The Olympic gold was a long time coming for Lindsey Jacobellis, considering she dominated snowboard cross for the better part of the past two decades. She has 10 wins at X Games while also claiming six world championships. Her most recent success came at a mixed snowboard team cross at the 2019 World Championship in Utah.
Thanks to Jacobellis’ gold, Team USA now has seven medals at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Jaelin Kauf and Colby Stevenson won silvers in freestyle skiing, while Julia Marino and Ryan Cochran-Siegle added silver medals in snowboarding and alpine skiing, respectively. The Team USA also came in second in figure skating while Jessie Diggins won bronze in cross-country skiing.