Jacobellis spills, Anderson family wins
Vail, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” After Lindsey Jacobellis held off an early surge by Joanie Anderson, it looked like Jacobellis was going to cruise to gold Friday.
But then it happened.
Jacobellis came over the final jump of the women’s snowboardcross course into view of the crowd waiting below, and took a tumble. Anderson, who was close behind Jacobellis, made a quick move to the right, and cruised past a sliding Jacobellis to take first at the Winter X Games 11.
That’s when the tears began to flow. The Anderson family, in the finish corral, and on the other side of the country, could hardly contain their excitement. Only 30 minutes after Joanie’s sister Jamie won gold in the women’s snowboard slopestyle, Joanie completed her grandfather Pete’s request.
“I talked to my grandpa last night and he said he wants nothing but gold medals and blue ribbons this weekend,” Anderson said.
With Pete sobbing in Connecticut, Joanie’s father Joe tearing up at the finish, and her five other siblings watching, Anderson kept a dry eye, and got a hug from mom Lauren, who had rushed back from the slopestyle event.
“It feels pretty good,” Anderson said. “The last time I beat Lindsey was probably five or six years ago, so I was waiting for the opportunity.”
For Jacobellis, and everyone watching, it was dejà vu from when she fell on the final stretch in the 2006 Torino Games, costing her the gold. This time, however, Jacobellis, who had won the World Championships earlier this month in Arosa, Switzerland, wasn’t making a superfluous grab, but just trying to get over the final jump. Jacobellis had the presence of mind to roll her way to the finish line for second, ahead of Maelle Ricker, who took third.
“That last jump was pretty tricky,” said Ricker, last year’s winner. “I came over it and said, ‘No knockoff, thank God,’ and saw Lindsey and Joanie almost pile into Lindsey. I drifted left and tried to hold a nice line into the finish.”
Anderson, who grabbed silver last year, nearly didn’t make it into the finals. After a slow start in the semifinals, Anderson sat in back approaching the finish, but surged into third in the last meters of the race, earning the final qualifying spot from her heat.
“I had a pretty bad lane choice,” Anderson said. “I was all the way over to the left because I had a bad time trial run, so I had a bad start, didn’t pull well, was in the back most of the way and then started to make some passes near the end of the course and was able to barely make it in there.”
Jacobellis won the semifinal heat, with Ricker in second.
With a lower finish in the heat, Anderson had an unfavorable lane choice in the finals. This time, however, Anderson jumped out in front of most of the pack and trailed only Jacobellis. Midway through the course, Anderson made a move to pass Jacobellis.
“I tried to take that opportunity to pass Lindsey around that heel side turn and kind of bumped into her a little bit,” Anderson said. “It was kind of a little sketchy and we were both able to hang on to it, and she kept the lead and Maelle almost passed me. It brought back memories of last year with Maelle because I did the same thing and sketched out and it didn’t turn out as bad.”
In the end, this turned out better for Anderson.
“The finish was insane. Lindsey was quite a way ahead of me, but I just tried to keep my line and stay clean and kind of stay away from here a little bit just because I didn’t want to be in her direct line,” Anderson said. “I went off a little more to the right, and she blew off and I managed to take it around her.”
Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at email@example.com, or 970-748-2935.
1. Joanie Anderson
2. Lindsey Jacobellis
3. Maelle Ricker
4. Jordan Karlinski
5. Helene Olafsen
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