Lindsey Jacobellis has officially completed her redemption tour.
Sixteen years after famously losing a commanding lead in the final moments of the women’s snowboard cross, the 36-year-old has earned her place atop the podium and given the U.S. its first gold medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Jacobellis entered Beijing with high expectations. After opening her Olympic career with a silver medal at the 2006 Games, she struggled to follow up that performance, missing the final rounds in both Vancouver and Sochi. In PyeongChang, she looked poised to leave with some hardware, but ultimately fell to fourth, missing out on the bronze medal by .003 seconds.
In her fifth Olympic appearance, Jacobellis finally captured that elusive gold medal — and she did it in style.
After soundly making her way through the first three rounds, Jacobellis lined up with a gold medal on the line.
The American jumped out front early in the final round and held off silver medalist Chloe Trespeuch of France. Meryeta Odine of Canada rounded out the podium with a bronze finish.
The instant reaction of Jacobellis was one of relief.
Jacobellis’s road to the gold medal got a little bit easier when 2018 gold medalist Michela Moioli was upset in the semifinals, failing to advance for a chance to defend her title. In the small final, she crashed and left the course visibly shaken.
American Stacy Gaskill competed in the same small final run after being eliminated in the semifinals. The 21-year-old finished in third place of the small final to round out her Olympic debut.
Americans Meghan Tierney and Faye Gulini advanced to the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.
Mixed Team Snowboard Cross will make its Olympic debut on Feb. 11. While the team selections are yet to be finalized, Jacobellis will likely be the female representative for Team USA.