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Winter Olympics: Team USA Gains First Medal Of Games As Lindsey Jacobellis Becomes Oldest Snowboarder Ever To Win Gold

Winter Olympics: Team USA Gains First Medal Of Games As Lindsey Jacobellis Becomes Oldest Snowboarder Ever To Win Gold

Lindsey Jacobellis infamously fell at the 2006 games - now, she's won Team USA's first gold and made history.

Lindsey Jacobellis has just won Team USA's first gold medal at the Winter Olympics and become the oldest snowboarder to ever win a medal.

The 36-year-old, from Danbury, Connecticut, is considered to be the most decorated athlete in the relatively short history of the snowboard cross event; not only is she a 10-time Winter X Games champion, but she also has five individual world championships.

However, until now, her Olympic legacy was tinged by frustration: back at the Torino games in 2006, she was destined for gold - however, she tried to grab her board on the final jump as a mark of celebration for her impending win, and fell, leaving her with silver.

She later finished fifth in 2010, seventh in 2014 and fourth in 2018. Now, in her fifth Olympic appearance, she's finally nabbed that elusive gold in a moment of 'redemption', not just making amends with her infamous debut more than 15 years ago, but becoming the oldest snowboarder in history to win a medal.

It wasn't a close gold either - Jacobellis absolutely dominated all of her heats and flew across the finish line way ahead of everyone else. France's Chloe Trespeuch came second, with Meryeta O'dine of Canada winning the bronze. This also comes after Mikaela Shiffrin, arguably Team USA's top skier, failed to finish the first run of the slalom.

In an earlier interview with NY Magazine, Jacobellis described her 2006 fall as 'shattering... I could not express that because I was put in front of an audience immediately. Interviews on TV and in the papers, in front of panels of all different kinds of people. And I was always taught to be a gracious loser, but that was very, very challenging to me as an individual.

'But looking back and seeing where I am now, that silver medal has shaped me into the individual that I am today, because I know if I had won the gold back then I would’ve been done, out of the sport. I did not love the sport as much as I do now, because when you’re 19 years old, do you really know what you want to do in life? Do you really know what you love?

'Over these last couple years, and when I was injured... I really had time to reflect on the emotional toll that moment had taken on me... some people in the country thought I was being disrespectful or obnoxious, or lifting my nose to the whole Olympic experience. But in actuality, I was just 19 years old and excited.

'There’s so much pressure for kids to be performing at that level and at that age. Maybe that was just me wanting to be a little rebellious in that moment and, for once, not having to do exactly as I was told or expected. That could’ve been the emotional underline in that scenario.'

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Featured Image Credit: @NickHopeTV/@Olympics/Twitter

Topics: Olympics, Sport