History repeated itself today for US Olympic snowboarder Lindsay Jacobellis. Sitting in second after the first two qualifying runs of women’s snowboard cross, the 24-year-old landed awkwardly on the chewed-up snow on Cypress Mountain and struggled to regain her balance before plowing into an out-of-bounds marker. The slip up disqualified her from competition before reaching the medal round.
Canada’s Maelle Ricker is the favorite heading into the final round.
Jacobellis, one of the favorites in this year’s event, was the favorite in Torino in 2006, and was leading the final run when she started showboating off the final jumpÂ and fell on the landing. Tanja Frieden of Switzerland finished ahead of her for the gold. Jacobellis had to settle for silver.
The Vancouver games were supposed to be a redemption tour for Lindsay, who was panned widely for what was considered an immature stunt on the highest stage in the sport. Then again, she was only 19 or 20 years old at the time. And now she’s left off the podium completely, a product of the totally crappy conditions at this year’s games moreso than her own immaturity. (For the record, I don’t think her move in 2006 was at all controversial… she’s a snowboarder and she grabbed her board. Its like a basketball player holding his follow-through or a football player spiking the football after a touchdown. No big deal.)
I feel bad for any athlete who get knocked out of the Olympics quickly and/or unexpectedly. It seems like a fall, a slip, a bad start or any number of things can destroy the dreams of so many young competitors.
I guess I’m just going to have to gear up for curling now!