Gillings targets Olympic medal

16th February 2010, by Chris Gill

Snowboard cross  []

Snowboard cross []

After a thrilling showdown in the men’s snowboard cross final on Monday 15 February, the attention falls on the women’s event this evening (Tuesday 16 February) – with British hopes resting on 24-year-old Zoe Gillings.

Gillings is ranked fifth in the world in snowboard cross, and stands a good chance of an Olympic podium place. The British number one has been going well this season, despite training set backs during the summer – the Team GB financial crisis limited her initial training programme in South America to three days rather than five weeks. Since then, Gillings has achieved a silver medal in Argentina and come 6th in the World Cup in Bad Gastein, Austria, in January. She currently holds 11th position in the World Cup standings.

Gold medal favourite Lyndsey Jacobellis (US) will be hoping not to repeat her bad luck of the 2006 Games in Turin, when a crash cost her the title right near the finish line.

But for all the competitors, the big question will be how well the course holds up to the event. The mild, wet weather of late has left snow conditions rather slushy, wrecked precious training runs at Cypress Mountain and even forced closure of the spectator stands – but this is the Olympics and the show goes on!

Watch this space …

What is snowboard cross?

Snowboard cross became an Olympic sport at the Turin Games in 2006, but it has been an increasingly popular discipline for longer than that. The sport really kicked off at the annual Winter X Games, which has run since 1997.

Basically, competitors race down a prepared course (groups of four in the final rounds), negotiating berms, banked turns, drops and jumps at high speed and in a tight space – success is all about maintaining control and speed. The wipeouts are pretty spectacular when they happen – dishing up some great viewing!


Back to news

Recent news

Share |