Winter Olympics: Snowboarding capsule outlook
By Lisa Dillman
Los Angeles Times
FEB. 15, 16
Best of the U.S.: Funny how it works out, but Lindsey Jacobellis probably became more famous for not winning gold in 2006, crashing into the snow when she attempted a bit of show. Nate Holland and Seth Wescott went one-two at the recent Winter X Games in Aspen.
Best of the rest: Norway’s Helene Olafsen put an early scare into Jacobellis at the X Games with a strong start, and Maelle Ricker, a native of West Vancouver, will be shouldering, oh, just a bit of hometown pressure. On the men’s side, France’s Pierre Vaultier is listed as the favorite from the British betting shop William Hill.
Men: 1. Holland, U.S. 2. Vaultier, France. 3. Wescott, U.S.
Women: 1. Jacobellis, U.S.; 2. Ricker, Canada; 3. Olafsen, Norway.
FEB. 17, 18
Best of the U.S.: Two possible threats to defending gold medalist Shaun White were in hospitals in Salt Lake City in January. Kevin Pearce suffered a severe brain injury in training and Danny Davis fractured his back and pelvis in a non-snowboarding accident. Louie Vito and Scott Lago, however, are both capable of a podium finish. Gretchen Bleiler and Kelly Clark produced a riveting duel at the X Games, with Bleiler winning by 0.66
Best of the rest: Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov, fondly and conveniently known as I-Pod, is considered the biggest international threat to White. There are obvious question marks about Australia’s Torah Bright, who suffered two concussions in Aspen in the days leading up to the X Games and withdrew from that competition.
Men: 1. White, U.S. 2. Podladtchikov, Switzerland. 3. Vito, U.S.
Women: . Bleiler, U.S. 2. Clark, U.S. 3. Hannah Teter, U.S.
PARALLEL GIANT SLALOM
FEB. 26, 27
Best of the U.S.: One of the better stories on the men’s side involves the resurgence of Chris Klug, who won a bronze medalist in 2002, a mere 19 months after his liver transplant.
Best of the rest: Austria’s Andreas Prommegger and Germany’s Amelie Kober won the last major Olympic tune-up race on the World Cup circuit on Saturday in Germany.
Men: 1. Jasey Jay Anderson, Canada. 2. Prommegger, Austria. 3. Philipp Schoch, Switzerland.
Women: 1. Kober, Germany. 2. Fraenzi Maegert-Kohli, Switzerland. 3. Nicolien Sauerbreij, Netherlands.