The men’s snowboard cross event at the Sochi Winter Olympics was finally able to get underway, after being postponed due to fog and American Alex Deibold capitalized winning the bronze medal for the US.
On Monday, the fog was so thick that organizers of the biathlon and snowboard cross events were forced to move the competition to Tuesday, with a slightly different format.
Due to time constraints, the qualifiers were scratched and instead competitors in the Winter Olympics were seeded according to their world rank.
Deibold grabbed the gold by narrowly edging his teammate Trevor Jacob in the semifinal assuring Team USA another consecutive trip to the podium.
Pierre Vaultier of France was able to hold off Nikolay Olyunin of Russia to win the gold in men’s Winter Olympic snowboard cross.
— Knowlton Mansbridge (@TrueNorthNews) February 18, 2014
An incredible day of racing at Boardercross. Alex Diebold takes Bronze for USA! pic.twitter.com/yMXpEwCn3r
— michael jaquet (@SkiTeamCMO) February 18, 2014
— William Hill Betting (@WillHillBet) February 18, 2014
4 years ago, Alex Beibold was left on the sidelines. Now he’s got a bronze in snowboard cross http://t.co/qqrCa5t1rT pic.twitter.com/z9pEYbdtCb
— Post Sports (@PostSports) February 18, 2014
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) February 18, 2014
— serre chevalier (@serrechevalier) February 18, 2014
Even though the Winter Olympics organizers pushed back the snowboard cross competition until Tuesday, conditions at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park were not ideal for athletes, with snow falling during the event which made the course unpredictable. Many were not able to finish due to crashes.
Vaultier took the first three races very easily, but on the final the puddle-like course made it anything but easy for the French. Olyunin dominated in zipping through the finals.
However, in the snowboard cross Winter Olympics final Olyunin didn’t start off as in the other runs and he fell behind Vaultier, who stayed in front regardless of Olyunin’s three attempts at taking the lead.
In the final jump, it seemed as if Olyunin would finally get ahead, but the Frenchman denied him.
Alex Deibold’s bronze medal puts the total for Team USA at 19 in the medal standings at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
[Image via Advance Nation/Twitter]