I keep hearing everyone scream about Lindsey Jacobellis hotdogging at the last minute and blowing her gold medal snowboard cross run. She's getting ripped a new one, by the press. Here's a pretty representative example:
BARDONECCHIA, Italy -- Lindsey Jacobellis had gold in her reach. Then she reached for her snowboard instead.
She had a chance to step on top of the medal stand, wrap herself in an American flag and hear "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Then she went for one last roar from the crowd, stupidly trying a flashy trick when all she needed to do was slide down the hill.
These guys don't know thing one about boarding.
I've been boarding nearly as long as this poor kid has been alive. My first board was one of the big Burtons that looked like a surfboard without the fin, with one flat end. Look down at the pic. See that 1989 board on the far right? Yep. My first board.
I've boarded a long time. I'm definitely not Olympic class, and never was. When I started, it was damned hard to find ski areas that even let boarders ride the chairs up the mountain. We perversely took pride in that.
So when I tell you what I'm about to tell you, understand that it's because I've loved this sport since its beginnings.
I respect Lindsay Jacobellis' attitude toward snowboarding much, much MORE--not less--for doing what came naturally and grabbing that edge, in the air, at the end of a terrific run. That right there gave her away as truly a boarder's boarder.
Way to go, Lindsey. Be proud of yourself, kiddo--I cheered when I saw you do that. I was frankly stunned and saddened that I hadn't seen a boarder do something similar until that point.
With that simple trick, you embodied what this sport is all about, and why I still love it.
Piss Off, Big Sports Media Guys. You have no idea.