American snowboard cross rider Alex Deibold will miss the 2022 Winter Olympics after sustaining a head injury last weekend in Italy, U.S. Ski & Snowboard said Tuesday.
The 2014 Olympic bronze medalist was competing Saturday in the qualifying phase of an SBX World Cup event in Cortina d'Ampezzo, and his injury was serious enough to subsequently prompt a withdrawal from this month's Games.
"While I’m grateful to know I’ll have a full recovery in the long run, I am obviously heartbroken to miss the Games," Deibold said in a statement. "I feel pretty lucky to have all this medical staff helping me recover so quickly."
The 35-year-old's sole Olympic appearance for now remains Sochi, despite being close multiple other times — he was an alternate in 2010, dually serving as the team's wax tech, and again named a backup for the 2018 Games.
Born in Connecticut, Deibold grew up skiing in Vermont and later attended school there. His uncle owns and operates New Haven staple Frank Pepe's Pizzeria.
He recorded a pair of sixth-place World Cup finishes last season in Italy and Switzerland. This season, he was ranked among the top 20 in FIS Points with 12 World Cup starts.
Deibold was one of the 26 riders to initially make the 2022 U.S. Olympic team on Jan. 21 along with fellow men's SBX riders Nick Baumgartner, Hagen Kearney and Mick Dierdorff. It would have been his second Olympics.
Jake Vedder was named Deibold's replacement late Tuesday. He'll join Baumgartner, Kearney and Dierdorff when their event's competition gets underway next Thursday, Feb. 10.