The United States’ search for its first gold medal in Beijing is finally over.
American snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis won the women’s snowboard cross big final early Wednesday morning. Not only is it the first gold medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics for the U.S., but it’s Jacobellis’ first gold medal in her career.
The five-time Olympian beat out France’s Chloe Trespeuch, Canada’s Meryeta Odine and Australia’s Belle Brockhoff in the final run.
Jacobellis jumped out to an early lead in the race and never let it go, despite Trespeuch being hot on her tail for the entire run. Trespeuch won silver while Odine took the bronze.
The native of Danbury, Conn., finally got the gold medal that slipped away from her in 2006. Back in Torino, she was in the lead heading toward one of the final jumps when she attempted a celebratory method grab and fell. The wipeout allowed Switzerland’s Tanja Frieden to pass Jacobellis and the American had to settle for silver.
She failed to make it to the medal round in 2010 and 2014, before missing the podium by 0.003 seconds in 2018, settling for fourth place.
Now, the snowboarding veteran has finally got the gold that’s been over 16 years in the making.