Golden girl

Canada’s Maelle Ricker wins gold in snow­board cross

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

Canada has its sec­ond

gold medal

WEST VAN­COU­VER, B.C. (CP) — Cana­dian Maelle Ricker put on a show for the home crowd Tues­day, cruis­ing to Olympic gold in the women’s snow­board cross at the Van­cou­ver Games.

Ricker, the world’s top-ranked rider, was third in qual­i­fy­ing — de­spite fall­ing in her first run — and eas­ily won her quar­ter-fi­nal. She also fin­ished first in the semi­fi­nal be­fore lead­ing from start to fin­ish in the fi­nal.

It was sweet victory for the 31-year-old from West Van­cou­ver, who suf­fered a con­cus­sion af­ter fall­ing in the fi­nal four years ago in Turin.

“It was such a mo­ti­va­tor for me, it made me work that much harder,” she said of the Turin ex­pe­ri­ence.

Deborah An­tho­nioz of France took the sil­ver ahead of Olivia Nobs of Switzer­land.

Ricker waved to the crowd and clapped af­ter step­ping onto the podium, cel­e­brat­ing Canada’s sec­ond gold of the Games. The gold comes one day af­ter Mike Robert­son won sil­ver in the men’s snow­board cross.

Cana­dian Do­minique Mal­tais, a bronze medal­list in 2006, failed to sur­vive the qual­i­fy­ing round.

Amer­i­can Lind­sey Ja­co­bel­lis, who paid the price for hot-dog­ging in Turin by hav­ing to set­tle for sil­ver in­stead of gold, won the con­so­la­tion fi­nal but re­fused to speak to the me­dia af­ter­wards.

Four years ago, Ja­co­bel­lis was me­tres away from winning gold when she de­cided to cel­e­brate, grab­bing her board while go­ing over a jump. She caught an edge and crashed, al­low­ing a Swiss rider to take the gold.

Ja­co­bel­lis got back up to claim the sil­ver, but has never been able to es­cape the hot­dog la­bel.

This time it was in­ci­den­tal con­tact with Ricker that was her down­fall in the semi­fi­nal. The two launched in the air and made con­tact as they landed, with the Amer­i­can forced off at an an­gle. She couldn’t re­cover.

“I didn’t feel our boards come in con­tact,” said Ricker. “I just tried to stay on my line and con­tinue what I was do­ing.”

Ricker is com­pet­ing in her third Olympics. The for­mer half­pipe rider came fourth in snow­board cross and 23rd in the half­pipe in Turin. She was fifth in half­pipe at the 1998 Games in Nagano.

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