Gulini leads experienced American snowboardcross team to Beijing |

Gulini leads experienced American snowboardcross team to Beijing

Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy graduate is making fourth Olympic appearance

Faye Gulini, second from left, competes during November’s FIS snowboardcross test event for the 2022 Winter Olympics at the Genting Resort Secret Garden in Zhangjiakou, China.
Mark Schiefelbein/AP Photo

If Faye Gulini can compete for as long as the recently retired Tom Brady did, she’ll have a shot at seven Olympic Games. As it stands, the 29-year-old Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy graduate is a sage leader on the veteran-laden U.S. snowboardcross contingent, having qualified for her fourth Olympic team back in December. Along with five-time World Champion Lindsey Jacobellis, who at 36 is making her fifth Olympic appearance, Gulini joins fellow SSCV alumna Meghan Tierney and lone Olympic rookie Stacy Gaskill on a squad with a combined 12 Olympics appearances.

“There is no better feeling in the world than this one,“ Gulini wrote on her Instagram page last week. “Walking into the Opening Ceremonies. The moment you have finally made it. All the hard work, the blood, sweat, and tears, has paid off. The years of dedication, passion, and sacrifice. The moment that the world stops to celebrate with you. The moment the world recognizes and validates everything you’ve done to get to this point. It’s just icing on top to share that moment with my best friends.”

In the Vancouver Games, Gulini was eliminated in the quarterfinal round and placed 12th. Four years later, she competed in the big final in Sochi, Russia, ending the 2014 Games in fourth, her best Olympic placement. In Pyeongchang, she finished 21st.

“From 2010 to now so much has changed,” Gulini continued in the social media post.

“From a rookie to a veteran and everything in between. I was a child at my first Olympics, just 17-years-old. So much has changed since then but the goal and the dream remain the same. Let’s gooooo baby.”

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Gulini has grown up in other contexts as well. On Dec. 28, she was married at Snowbird Resort, donning a white Burton puffy as she pledged her vows.

Even though her spot was secured on Dec. 22 via a top-six FIS points list, Gulini has continued to race, showing fine form in the most recent World Cup events. In Cervinia, Italy, she placed second to Michela Moioli in a photo finish. She is currently ranked 11th in the World Cup standings.

In an Olympic profile video released last week, Gulini talked about the emotional rollercoaster of qualifying for and competing in the Games.

“They are the highest highs and the lowest lows that, you know, 99% of the athletes at the Games are ever going to experience,” she told Yahoo Sports. “But the six months, eight months leading up to it is right there. It’s equally as high and low, and the roller coaster is exhausting because a lot of times your success comes at the expense of your teammate’s failure.”

Faye Gulini at the snowboard cross (SBX) World Cup in Chiesa In Valmalenco, Sondrio, Italy, on January 24, 2021
Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via AP

Even though she’s a veteran of the Games, it doesn’t appear the winter sport pinnacle’s romanticized nature has even remotely worn off.

“But the highs are worth it. The highs are worth it. And to see everyone push themselves to, you know, that next level, that extreme is inspiring,” she said.

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