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Eva Samková, Olympic snowboarding champion, to miss Beijing Winter Games

FIS Snowboard World Cup 2021 - Women's Snowboard Team

CHIESA IN VALMALENCO, ITALY - JANUARY 24: Eva Samkova of Czech Republic takes 1st place during the FIS Snowboard World Cup Women’s Snowboard Team on January 24, 2021 in Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy. (Photo by Laurent Salino/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

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Czech Eva Samková, the 2014 Olympic snowboard cross champion, will miss the Beijing Games due to an ankle injury that has kept her out of competition since early December.

Samková, last season’s World Cup leader, needed surgery on the ankle and, after six weeks of rehab, announced she will not be able to return in time for the Olympics, according to the Czech ski and snowboard federation.

Samková, 28, vowed that she will eventually return to competition once healed.

Samková followed junior world titles in 2010, 2011 and 2013 with gold in her Olympic debut in Sochi, posting the fastest time in the seeding round and then sweeping quarterfinal, semifinal and final races.

She took bronze in 2018, when Italian Michela Moioli won.

In 2021, Samková won four of her eight World Cup starts before being sidelined by the injury.

The Olympic favorites are Great Britain’s Charlotte Bankes, the reigning world champion and current World Cup standings leader, and Moioli.

American Lindsey Jacobellis, going to her fifth Olympics, finished third in the two most recent World Cups won by Bankes.

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