Lindsey Jacobellis’ Olympic gold medal has been years in the making.
A consistent figure in snowboardcross, the former Westminster College student has competed in five Winter Olympics from 2006 to 2022.
She won silver at the 2006 Torino Olympics, then finished just off the podium in her next three Games, finishing fourth, fifth and seventh.
In 2006, Jacobellis had a large lead, and was seconds away from winning gold. On the final large jump of the course, she tried to do a grab while in the air to celebrate her victory — snowboardcross participants are not required to perform tricks on jumps — and fell. She came in second place.
Jacobellis won six world championships and 10 X Games championships, making her the most successful snowboardcross athlete ever.
But she couldn’t get the Olympic gold medal that eluded her.
On Wednesday, Jacobellis finally won gold.
“It’s been a long road for myself, ups and downs, injuries,” she told NBC after the race.
The 36-year-old was golden all the way through, placing first in the one-eighth round, the quarterfinals and the semifinals.
Racing against France’s Chloe Trespeuch, Canada’s Meryeta Odine and Australia’s Belle Brockhoff in the medal round, Jacobellis leaped in front after the first jump on the course. From there, it was her race.
“If I could get out ahead, I knew I could stay ahead,” Jacobellis said.
Trespeuch won silver and Odine won bronze.
As she crossed the finish line, Jacobellis had a big smile on her face as she delivered the USA’s first gold medal of the 2022 Olympics.
Jacobellis can now add an Olympic gold medal to her trophy case.
How other athletes with Utah ties did in Wednesday’s medal events
Nordic combined — Men’s individual normal hill
Ben Loomis — Park City resident — 15th out of 44 competitors.
Jared Shumate — Park City resident, University of Utah (current student) — 19th out of 44 competitors.
Taylor Fletcher — Park City resident Westminster College (former student) — 24th out of 44 competitors.
Stephen Schumann — Born in Salt Lake City, Park City resident, University of Utah (current student) — 25th out of 44 competitors.
What to watch tonight
Salt Lake City-born figure skater Nathan Chen, in first place after the short program, goes for gold in the free skate tonight.
The free skate starts at 6:30 p.m. MST, with Chen scheduled to skate last at 10:15 p.m. MST.
NBC will show the free skate competition starting at 8:40 p.m. MST. USA Network will show the short program event from 6:30-8:20 p.m. MST.