The veteran snowboarder has once more punched her ticket to the Olympics, grabbing a seat on board the “Sochi Express” for Team USA with this victory. The 28-year-old Jacobellis, who settled for the silver medal at the Torino 2006 Olympics, and missed the finals cut at the Vancouver Games, is seeking redemption at the Sochi Olympics in February.
Emerging from the qualifiers as the first seed, Jacobellis battled a strong field of six riders in this final race to win her first world cup event since January 2012. "We were definitely bumping and grinding in the first two turns. I was just trying to stay tough and hold my line, but I could hear everyone behind me. You knew you had to ride with no mistakes," said Jacobellis.
To reach the top of this podium, she rose from the depths of a difficult rehabilitation period where she sought to recover from a left knee ACL injury in an X Games training run in January, 2012. Further, she grappled with a painful thumb, broken in a recent world cup contest.
Canada's Dominique Maltais, and Norway’s Helene Olafsen rounded out the podium. Jacobellis’s teammate and fellow Vancouver Olympian Faye Gulini grabbed a tenth place finish, earning valuable qualifications points for the Sochi Games.
The snowboard cross event, expanded to six boarders this Olympics season, pits racers elbow to elbow down a course with several sharp turns, and kickers that double as catapults. These racers are constantly vying for a strategic edge in their run to the finish, oftentimes leaving the field behind in a crumpled heap hillside.
Like other Americans who have qualified for Sochi, Jacobellis's nomination by the USSA federation requires approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.