Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sports: If it weren't for USA snowboarders ...

At this moment, US medal winners total nine.

It should be noted that five of them are from snowboarders.

Having seen brief interview clips of our snowboarders ... what can you say ... they are typical of what people like and don't like about Americans ... outgoing and happy and a little goofy!

UPDATE: Came across this item about USA snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis. Excerpt:
Unlike so many snowboarders who subscribe to grunge-inspired, alternative fashions, she's a "girlie girl" with an affection for high-heeled shoes. And she's a nervous drama queen in the hours leading up to a race. But once she finds the will to launch herself into the course, she becomes a fierce, rugged competitor with the confidence and cunning to pull out passes in parts of courses where no one would have expected it.
........
She's handled her newfound fame with sensitivity, recognizing how young snowboarders in grocery stores spend time building up the courage to ask for an autograph. She smiles self-effacingly as she describes how many of them simply say, "Cool," and dart away after she has complied.
The event she is in is called snowboard cross where 4 people snowboard down a course and they can collide!

Jacobellis is the current world champion in the event. If you didn't know her and only knew how the event looks like, you might guess she is a big and burly girl. Well, she isn't. She's 5'5" 120 pounds and 20 years old. But inside this small package is a fierce competitor. To read more about her go here. Excerpts:
The bank turns in SBX are her favorite because she can pick up speed. Jacobellis admits that she feels nauseous and is full of adrenaline in the starting gate before an SBX event, but that as soon as the gate opens her instincts take over and she's in control.
.............
Though not easily noticed under her skiing helmet, Jacobellis' curly blonde hair has healing power. In support of a neighbor with cancer, she once donated 10 inches of it to Locks of Love, an organization that makes wigs for kids who have lost hair due to chemotherapy or alopecia.
Competition for Women's Snowboard Cross runs all day Friday 17 Februrary.

Go LINDSEY!!!



Image source: http://www.usolympicteam.com/bio-action-lindsay-j.jpg

UPDATE: Argh! Lindsey finished second. Excerpt:
BARDONECCHIA, Italy (AP) --
Women's Snowboard Cross Lindsey Jacobellis had the Olympic women's snowboard cross won, and then -- incredibly, inexcusably -- she made one last move on the next-to-last jump and fell.

She lost.

Coasting to what should have been an easy victory, the American grabbed her board on the way to the finish line. It caused her to fall and while she scrambled to her feet, Switzerland's Tanja Frieden sped past and became the first champion in the strange and wild sport of Olympic women's snowboard cross Friday.

Jacobellis won silver, but should have had the gold. She was well, well ahead of Frieden, and the other two women in the four-rider final had fallen long before.
She is taking quite a bit of criticism for the defeat. Talk about "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat!" Especially tough when the defeat was the result of an apparent error on her part.

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