Lindsey Jacobellis captured America’s first gold medal of the Olympics on Wednesday, riding hard to the line in her snowboard cross 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.
The victory came after America’s top racer, skier Mikaela Shiffrin, skidded out and failed to finish the first run of the slalom, making her 0-for-2 in Beijing.
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.