Who is Lindsey Jacobellis?
Name: Lindsey Jacobellis
Country: United States
2016/17 World Cup ranking: 5th
- 2006 Olympic silver medalist
- 5-time world champion ('05, '07, '11, '15, '17)
- 2-time World Cup season champion (2007, 2009)
- 10-time X Games gold medalist
Jacobellis has competed at every Olympics since snowboard cross made its debut in 2006. Despite being among the favorites each time, she has just one Olympic medal so far: a silver from Torino 2006. (Jacobellis was on pace to win gold that year, but crashed on one of the final jumps while attempting a method and was passed by Switzerland's Tanja Frieden.) In both 2010 and 2014, she was eliminated in the semifinals after crashing out of her heat.
Still one of the elite racers in boardercross, Jacobellis remains a gold-medal contender. She just won her fifth world title in 2017, making her 5-for-5 in world championship competitions. Her results at recent Olympics are a testament to the sport's unpredictable nature rather than a reflection of what she's capable of.
Jacobellis is currently the only American to have ever won an Olympic medal in women's snowboard cross.
Influenced by her older brother, Jacobellis first tried snowboarding when she was about 10 years old. She later enrolled at Stratton Mountain School, a local ski and snowboard academy in Vermont, to hone her skills.
In the early days of her competitive snowboarding career, Jacobellis dabbled in all the major disciplines — halfpipe, slopestyle and boardercross. She competed in all three events at the 2003 Winter X Games and finished no worse than fourth place in any of them. A few years later though, she began specializing in boardercross.
Jacobellis added two more world titles to her collection in 2015 and 2017, running her career total up to five. On the World Cup circuit, she scored a number of podium finishes but did not win any individual races in the three seasons after the Sochi Olympics. In August 2017, the Olympic season kicked off with a pair of races in Argentina, and Jacobellis was able to finally break through on Day 2 for her first individual World Cup victory since December 2013.
Off the snow
In her Twitter bio, Jacobellis lists "Animal Lover" right up there with "3 x Olympian" when it comes to what defines her. She has been working with the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) for years, recently competing to raise money for the charity as part of MTV's "The Challenge: Champs vs. Pro" series in 2017. At the last Olympics, she befriended a local stray dog she found in Sochi and ended up adopting him. Jacobellis, who now resides in Southern California, is an avid surfer during the offseason.
"I feel people who don’t follow our sport define me by the Olympics, but I don’t care what they think. Everyone in our industry knows the rider that I am and the races I’ve won." — Lindsey Jacobellis on her career and legacy (Mar. 2015, Sports Illustrated)