Three days after capturing an elusive gold in the individual event, five-time Olympian Lindsey Jacobellis claimed another Saturday in the Games debut of mixed team snowboard cross with Nick Baumgartner. The two American veterans, a respective 36 and 40 years old, are the oldest medalists in Olympic snowboarding history.
In falling snow and temperatures in the teens, Baumgartner beat out Canadian Eiliot Grondin in the men’s section of the big final, and Jacobellis followed up with a triumphant victory over Italy’s Michela Moioli, grabbing her board on the final jump in a full-circle defiant moment, recalling the infamous Torino moment that cost her a title nearly two decades ago.
In the semifinals, Baumgartner got out to a great start with Italian Omar Visintin and crossed the finish in a virtual tie. With no advantage for either team in the women’s section, Jacobellis sat comfortably behind Moioli as the two easily progressed to the big final. Italy’s No. 2 team of Lorenzo Sommariva and Caterina Carpano won the other section.
Earlier in the quarterfinals, Baumgartner stuck behind Adam Lambert of Australia in the beginning before the two were passed by Lambert’s compatriot Cameron Bolton. Starting the latter leg in second, Jacobellis avoided two crashes from Australians Josie Baff and Belle Brockhoff to win the race and advance. Brockhoff was taken off the course by stretcher.
The No. 2 U.S. team of Jake Vedder and Faye Gulini did not make it out of the round. Grondin dominated the men’s section, and Vedder clipped the back of Frenchman Merlin Surget‘s board on the second turn and went down, but caught back up to take third. In the women’s race, Gulini lost to Canada’s Meryeta Odine for the second spot, and the ROC won.
Italy’s Visintin and Moioli won the first quarterfinal, which only featured three teams rather than four due to the field’s odd number of 15, while Great Britain’s Nightingale and Bankes took the victory in the fourth and last heat.
Mixed team snowboard cross is a relay-style event with pairs of one man and one woman competing in head-to-head heats of four. Men go first, and their results determine when the start gates open for their female teammates. The women’s race then decides the overall outcome.
SEE MORE: Mixed Team Snowboard Cross