Lindsey Jacobellis: Olympic Profile of US Snowboard Hopeful for Sochi 2014

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2013

LA MOLINA, SPAIN - JANUARY 18: (FRANCE OUT) Lindsey Jacobellis of the USA takes 1st place during the FIS Snowboard World Championships Men's and Women's Snowboardcross on January 18, 2011 in La Molina, Spain.  (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Olympic Story: Have you ever thrown away the thing you wanted the most? That's what Lindsey Jacobellis did at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. Leading the snowboard cross by 50 yards late in the race, she started celebrating a bit too early. On the next-to-last jump, she grabbed the board to show off, but fell backwards. That allowed Switzerland's Tanja Frieden to zoom by and get the gold, leaving Lindsey with the silver and the hint of a tear in her eye. She became snowboarding's Bill Buckner. Now Jacobellis has a chance to make up for it at the Sochi Olympics. It's a long time to wait for redemption, but this is her opportunity.

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Athletic Profile: Jacobellis has an effortless quality to her snowboarding that's made her the most decorated performer in the sport's history. Her smooth turns make her quicker than the competition. While heartbreak has been the story of her Olympic career—she also failed to make the 2010 snowboard cross finals in Vancouver—Jacobellis has won three gold medals at the world championships (2005, 2007, 2011). She has also dominated at the X Games, where she has won seven gold medals, one silver and one bronze.

Off the Slopes: Surfing, knitting and shoes. Those are the things that keep her stoked outside of snowboarding. She says if she weren't on the snowboarding circuit, she would be a professional surfer and nothing makes her happier than riding the waves in Fiji. She once knitted a bathing suit—that she threw out after wearing once. Lindsey also claims to own more than 100 pairs of shoes that she keeps stashed around the country. Visa, Sprint and Paul Mitchell are her sponsors. You can follow this quirky snowboarder at, on Twitter @lindsjacobellis and on Instagram.

Injury Alert:  Jacobellis has had two surgeries on her ACL since injuring her knee in January 2012, and her recovery is going well, as she says she feels "stronger than ever."

Making the Team: Jacobellis has to make the U.S. snowboarding team by competing at the U.S. Grand Prix events in December and January as well as the world championships in January. She has an excellent chance to earn her spot and she is expected to be a prime medal contender. Some of her top competitors include Americans Serena Shaw, Julia Marino and Jamie Anderson, along with German Silvia Mittermuller and Canadians Maelle Ricker and Dominique Maltais.

Quote: "I wanted to share with the crowd my enthusiasm. I messed up." -- Jacobellis explaining her fall in the 2006 Winter Olympics.