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What if...

By Nikki Stone
Sports Motivation
Updated: September 10, 2008
My stomach dropped as I saw American Lindsey Jacobellis cross the finish line here in the debut of women's snowboardcross. Not because she had just won the Olympic silver medal, but because she had just lost the gold.

Coming around the last turn, Jacobellis was a good 100 yards ahead of the rest of the competitors. The fans were ready to write Jacobellis' name in the history books when she launched off the bottom air and decided to footnote her accomplishment with an attention-grabbing victory kick. As she twisted the board back under her, she pushed her feet a little too far forward forcing her to land on the heel side of her board. Her feet slid out in front of her and she skidded off the side of the course.

As Jacobellis struggled to get back up, Switzerland's Tanja Frieden cruised past her to grab the gold. Jacobellis managed to get back on her feet, but she had to settle for the silver. Dominique Maltais of Canada followed shortly thereafter to take the bronze.
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If you had handed Jacobellis a silver medal two weeks ago, she would have likely been ecstatic, as would most anyone. But that silver medal doesn't have the same appeal knowing that she had that gold in her pocket and lost it showboating.

This was evident by the look on her face as she stood in the finishing area with the other two Olympic medalists. Frieden and Maltais stood in front of the Olympic flower podium cheering and waving their arms in victory. Jacobellis stood with sunken shoulders and a half-smile that was obviously working to hide the frustration boiling over inside.

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