Days after her long-awaited first Olympic gold medal, Vermont’s Lindsey Jacobellis added a second on Saturday in Beijing, winning the inaugural mixed team snowboard cross with teammate Nick Baumgartner, himself a 40-year-old first-time medalist.
“This has been really incredible. I was really happy that my body was feeling great even though I’m exhausted at the end of the day,” Jacobellis said on NBC. “All the pain’s worth it.”
The American duo won both halves of the final race, with Baumgartner giving Jacobellis a 0.04-second lead for her leg. Amid falling snow at the Genting Snow Park, the 36-year-old fell to third quickly among the four racers, but pulled back into second before Canadian and Italian riders crashed, then ran down 2018 Olympic champion Michela Moioli, cutting inside her on the penultimate turn and winning by 0.20 seconds.
Baumgartner, a four-time Olympian whose only previous top-5 finish in a Games was a fourth in the men’s snowboard cross four years ago, and Jacobellis were the two oldest competitors in the field. The fourth-oldest competitor in any sport in Beijing, Baumgartner was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the men’s event on Thursday.
“It’s days like two days ago that make today feel so good,” he said. “I was proud to be able to show everyone what I was worth. I knew if I messed up, she could cover for me, but I wanted to prove to everyone what I wanted to prove two days ago, and I think I did that today.”
Jacobellis won Team USA’s first gold to begin her fifth Games in the women’s snowboard cross on Wednesday, becoming the oldest American woman to win gold at the Winter Games in any sport. She also became the oldest snowboarder to medal at the Olympics, a record Baumgartner broke on Saturday.
“We’re the ‘80s babies,” Jacobellis said. “We came in hot today and we’re really excited about it.”