Lindsey Jacobellis Just Won Team USA Its First Gold of the Winter Olympics

On behalf of the country, thank you, Lindsey Jacobellis! The snowboarder just won the United States’ first—and as of this writing, only—gold medal of the Beijing Olympics, placing first in an event called snowboardcross, a racing event. Didn’t know that existed until literally right now, but okay! Wheaties box incoming.

It’s been a long road for Jacobellis, who is now the oldest snowboarder to win a gold (at 36—apparently athletes are on a different timeline than the rest of us) and who has been competing at the highest level for two decades. This is her fifth Olympics, and she previously medaled in the same event a full 16 years ago (the longest gap between medals for any American woman, per Today).

At the 2006 Turin Games, Jacobellis had the win in sight but in the final jump grabbed her board in a “showboat” move, and then fell when she landed, ultimately coming in second for a silver medal. “They can keep talking about it all they want,” Jacobellis reflected, per Today. “Because it really shaped me into the individual that I am. It kept me hungry and really kept me fighting in this sport.

“It doesn’t define you,” she continued. “Especially if you’ve made it to this stage, you’re a winner. And look at what you’ve learned from the experience, and take that with you later in life.” As for what this medal means compared to her first, Jacobellis said, “This feels incredible because the level that all the women are riding at today is so much higher than it was 16 years ago.”

Chloe Trespeuch of France took silver, and Meryeta O’Dine of Canada won the bronze.

On Instagram, congratulatory comments poured in for the beloved athlete, who hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down. Will Lindsey Jacobellis be back on the podium at 40? We’d like to see it.

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