Arielle Gold will be forced to miss the Olympics after suffering a wrist injury in training. The American snowboarder was a medal hopeful in women's halfpipe before the setback.
Rachel Axon of USA Today reports the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association confirmed the 17-year-old rising star would not be able to make her qualifying run due to the injury:
American snowboarder Arielle Gold will not compete in the Olympics after suffering an injury in training on Wednesday.
A U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association spokesman confirmed the 17-year-old would not compete in her qualification round.
USA Today's Lindsay Jones confirmed it was a wrist ailment:
American snowboarder Arielle Gold injured her wrist in warmup run and will not compete today in halfpipe, team official said #SochiSMG— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) February 12, 2014
However, Rachel Bachman of The Wall Street Journal later reported that Gold suffered a different injury as a result of the the crash:
Women's halfpipe: 2010 gold Torah Bright (AUT) in final. US' Hannah Teter, too. Arielle Gold injured shoulder, out. #Sochi— Rachel Bachman (@Bachscore) February 12, 2014
Gold is one of the sport's most promising young athletes. She captured halfpipe gold in last year's FIS Snowboarding World Championships, which was really a breakout performance that allowed her to generate some hype heading into the Games.
She's the younger sister of Taylor Gold, who competed in the men's halfpipe event on Tuesday. She talked with John Coon of MaxPreps.com about picking up the sport through her brother at a young age and following that path all the way to the Olympics:
It's always felt good learning new tricks. That (good) feeling from learning a new trick just made me want to keep learning more and just keep working hard. Also being at contests and seeing that hard work pay off in your results is also a pretty great feeling.
Unfortunately, the injury means her hard work leading up to the Games won't pay off.
Who will win halfpipe gold with Gold out of the mix?
Fellow American Kelly Clark and Australian Torah Bright are the top contenders in the event. The teenager would have have also been in the mix, however, likely in the race for bronze if both Clark and Bright were able to lay down their best runs in the final.
The good news is that Gold is just 17. She should have at least a couple more chances to enjoy the Olympic spotlight in the coming years. While that sentiment will help her move forward, the initial reaction is likely disappointment.
Four years from now, after gaining more experience on the international stage, there's a good chance she will arrive in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as a serious gold-medal threat.
First, she must recover from the wrist injury that ended her run in Sochi prematurely. No immediate word on the severity of the issue was released.