Going for Gold in the Snowboard Cross
Torino's winter games featured the first ever snowboard cross. This may well be the most fun to watch olympic event. Four snowboarders start together on a narrow, bumpy track in a race to the finish. Precise control is critical. Any wayward move will cause the competitor to lose precious speed which is difficult to make back. Wipeouts are common. Less than the length of a snowboard separated silver and gold in the men's race. USA's Seth Wescott took home the top prize.
The real excitement happened in the women's race. After the first turn in the track, America's Lindsey Jacobellis pushed out in front. Halfway through the race, two competitors had wiped out and Jacobellis had a very comfortable lead. She had the gold medal in the bag. On the second to last jump, she decided to showboat a little and grabbed her board in mid air. She lost her balance and fell. Despite her quick recovery, Switzeland's Tanja Frieden passed her for the gold. Jacobellis wasn't too upset. She told the AP, "I was having fun. Snowboarding is fun. I was ahead. I wanted to share my enthusiasm with the crowd. I messed up. Oh well, it happens." So she's bringing home the silver. Good for her. I watched the event on Sky News. The British satellite network set highlights of Jacobellis' run to the tune of "American Idiot." Ouch. There is no sympathy for the yanks around here.