Lindsey Jacobellis captured America's first gold medal of the Olympics on Wednesday, riding hard to the line in her snowboardcross final a full 16 years after a mistake cost her the title.
The 36-year-old racer was in her fifth Olympics and captured the first U.S. win of what has been an otherwise dismal Games for the U.S.
Up until Wednesday, Jacobellis was best known for taking a massive lead into the final jump at the 2006 Turin Games, but tweaking her board as she road over the crest, then falling and settling for silver.
This time, she rode hard all the way to the line, beating France's Chloe Trespeuch, then covering her heart with her hands as she slowed. Canada's Meryeta Odine won the bronze.
"This feels incredible because this level that all the women are riding at is a lot higher than it was 16 years ago," Jacobellis told reporters, according to CNN. "So, I felt like I was a winner just that I made it into finals, because that's been a challenge every time. All these ladies out here have the potential to win and today it just worked out for me that my starts were good, that my gliding was great, and everything just worked for me today."
The victory came after America's top racer, skier Mikaela Shiffrin, skidded out and failed to finish the first run of the slalom after missing a gate, making her 0-for-2 in Beijing.
Shiffrin's next race could be the super-G on Friday, although immediately after her slalom mishap, she made it sound as if she might skip that race.