Italian Michela Moioli wins gold medal in women's snowboard cross

Quartet of Canadians fail to advance to big final

Italian Michela Moioli wins gold medal in women's snowboard cross
Italy's Michela Moioli celebrates winning gold in the women's snowboard cross big final at the Olympics in Pyeongchang on Friday. © Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

CBC Sports

In her second Olympic Games, Italy's Michela Moioli came out golden.

The 22-year-old emerged on top of a loaded field in the big final of women's snowboard cross at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday.

"I have no words. It is the best day of my life – really. No words, I started to cry when I crossed the finish line and I cry again maybe," Moioli said after the race. "I'm really happy."

Julia Pereira de Sousa Mabileau, 16, of France, won silver, while the reigning Olympic champion Eva Samkova, of the Czech Republic, took bronze.

The end of the race was not without intrigue behind Moioli, as a trio of snowboarders crashed through the finish line.

But for the Italian, it was like a weight lifted off her shoulders.

"I don't know, I started crying and I thought, 'Oh my god, I made it.' All the stress went away and this is my moment, I'm so happy, so proud of my work and I can't wait to enjoy this moment," she said.

VIDEO | Italy's Moioli wins gold

Four Canadians competed in the event, but none advanced to the big final.

Kelowna, B.C.'s Tess Critchlow finished fourth in her semifinal heat. Carle Brenneman of Comox, B.C., met the same fate in her quarter-final run.

Zoe Berggermann, of  Erin, Ont., thought she had made if through her heat in the quarters after finishing third. But upon further review, it was determined that Berggermann had missed a gate, thus disqualifying her from the competition.

Finally, Meryeta O'Dine was forced to withdraw from Friday's event after suffering a concussion in training earlier in the week.

The Prince George, B.C., racer said she was disappointed but the decision was made for her health.

"As an athlete, you always want to push your limits, but it's important to stop when you have to," she said in a statement. "I am proud to have travelled here."

No redemption for Jacobellis

American Lindsay Jacobellis finished fourth in the big final.

At the 2006 Turin Games, Jacobellis, thinking she had gold sewn up, showboated to the finish line — only to be passed by Switzerland's Tanja Frieden.

Jacobellis had to settle for silver. Since then, the Dansbury, Conn., native has won five world championships and 10 Winter X Games titles.

"I mean, I could be upset about it, but where is that going to get me?" Jacobellis told The Associated Press.

But she has no more Olympic medals to her name. Pyeongchang proved to be Jacobellis' best opportunity to put to rest the mistake her 20-year-old self made four Olympics ago, but after a quick start, the American fell behind the pack.

"I got caught in traffic. You can only do so much," Jacobellis said. "I finished the best I could today. If we ran the race tomorrow, it could be whole different story."

Jacobellis had about a two-body-length lead on the field when Moioli overtook her on a curve. Samkova drafted behind and pushed Jacobellis out to the edge of the course and, from there, the American couldn't gain any ground.

She ultimately ended up just off the podium.

"Fourth place is fourth place at the Olympics."

With files from The Canadian Press