The icy, fast and super dangerous course for the Snowboard-Cross event is scary enough. Throw six hungry competitors at the start gate, and you can expect to see some spills and collisions. The Sochi 2014 Olympics were a display of how quickly the top medal contender in Women’s Boardercross can go from first to last in a heartbeat, making the final results rather unpredictable.
There were concussions, injuries and broken dreams, but three competitors powered through unscathed during the Sochi 2014 Olympics Boardercross event. Photo: NBC Olympics
We regret to report that USA snowboarder Jackie Hernandez (Londonderry, VT) suffered a concussion when she crashed off a jump during the seeding round. She was treated at the venue medical tent and released. She withdrew from the competition.
US Snowboard Team’s Faye Gulini (Salt Lake City, UT) rode to fourth after a heartbreaking crash forced Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, VT) out of the big final and into seventh on Sunday at the Snowboard-Cross event of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Jacobellis acquired a big lead in the semi final before the fall dashed her hopes of an Olympic medal. Czech rider Eva Samkova took gold with Gulini finishing just off the podium in the big final.
Canada’s Dominique Maltais took the silver medal with France’s Chloe Trespeuch earning bronze.
Women’s Snowboardcross requires jumping sometimes simultaneously with fierce competitors. Photo: Sarah Brunson | U.S. Snowboarding
Jacobellis took a dominating win in her quarterfinal heat, and in the semifinal she had to navigate a fair amount of traffic before pulling out into the lead. She amassed a huge lead, but she wasn’t set up properly for a series of small rollers and got bucked. Unfortunately, it was in one of the course’s flattest sections so there was no way for her to get her speed back. Then in the small final she dominated again for an easy win to take seventh.
T”here are worst things in life than not winning… a lot worse,” said an optimistic Lindsey Jacobellis. “Of course it’s very unfortunate that this didn’t work out for me. I trained very hard for this moment and it just didn’t come together for who knows what reason. You can take it in stride and a lot of people can say what they want and put as many opinions out there and that’s fine. It’s not really going to affect how I view myself and how I look at my past resume for everything else.
“It’s not that I was over-amped or overexcited. I was really happy with how the course was coming together for me. I wasn’t scared. There were a lot of girls that were scared and not really putting it together. It just didn’t work out. I don’t really know how else to say it. It was just kind of a fluke.”
Jacobellis has had an amazing comeback from two consecutive knee injuries, spending two years out of competition, enduring surgery and then training at the USSA Center of Excellence in Park City, UT to get back into competition form.
Faye Gulini jumping through the 2014 Olympic Winter Games Snowboardcross course in Sochi, Russia. Photo: Sarah Brunson | U.S. Snowboarding
Gulini quietly worked her way through quarterfinals and was third in semis. In finals she was caught behind the pack but methodically worked her way up to fourth. The field was well strung out behind Czech rider Eva Samkova, the event’s gold medalist, so Gulini had very little chance of advancing into the top three.
“I’m happy with the way today went. I had a tough season leading up to the Olympics,” said Faye Gulini. “On this course it kind of seems just staying on your feet was important and I was able to do that pretty consistently. I’m happy with fourth. It is the Olympics, but being on the podium would have been nice.
“This was the toughest course we’ve been on all season. This is a great course, but it’s intimidating. We don’t usually have courses that have jumps this big. It’s so much fun. But it’ll get in your head. I don’t think it’s that the girls don’t have the capability of hitting these huge jumps, but it’ll get in your head. I think that’s what it was for a lot of people.”
All the action airs on NBC during both the Daytime Olympic coverage at 3:00 p.m. EST and Primetime coverage at 7:00 p.m. EST. The event can also be streamed in its entirety on NBCOlympics.com. The men will take on Snowboard-Cross on Monday Feb. 17.