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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A gold, and an existential gold 


Two winning stories in snowboard cross today.
Canadian Maelle Ricker won the snowboard cross gold medal. The backstory is that at the Torino Olympics four years ago, Maelle had also made it to the snowboard cross final, but then she wiped out part way down the hill and wasn't even able to finish.
So this was her comeback year, and she succeeded wonderfully.
But her backstory pales compared to the Epic Fail experience of another snowboarder, American Lindsey Jacobellis. Four years ago, Lindsey was leading by a substantial margin in the snowboard cross final, and she got so excited that she hotdogged the last jump.
And she fell. By the time she got herself back on the course and crossed the finish line, she had dropped to second place, getting silver instead of gold.
So this was to be her comeback year too.
Instead, this year it was her turn to be wiped out part way down the course. This happened in the semi-final, so she didn't even get into the final at all.
But here's what happened next.
Lindsey was in the consolation final, the race nobody televises because the only credit the winner gets is to be listed in fifth place in the record books. And once again, she comes into the final jump, with first place wrapped up.
Now, you would think that this time she would play it safe, she would think twice before risking another stunt.
But once again, in the last jump, she hotdogged it.

And this time, she didn't fall. She aced it.

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