Four years ago, U.S. snowboarder Arielle Gold was forced to withdraw before the halfpipe competition in Sochi even started after dislocating her shoulder in a practice run. Tuesday morning in PyeongChang, Gold, a psychology major at CU, captured her first Olympic medal.
Gold narrowly qualified for the halfpipe final, scoring a 62.75 on her second run Monday to earn the 12th and final spot.
Nearly gave these two a heart attack, but I managed to squeeze through yesterday’s qualis and into today’s finals, going down at 6:00pm MST. Excited for another opportunity to ride this beautiful halfpipe with ma gurls! pic.twitter.com/W7pek07w1c— Arielle Gold (@arielletgold) February 12, 2018
One of four Americans in the final including 17-year old favorite Chole Kim, Gold fell on her opening run remaining in the 12th position. She surged into fourth after scoring a 74.75 on her second run, just seven points behind her 34-year old U.S. teammate and hero Kelly Clark. In her third and final run, Gold scored an 85.75, good enough to move past the 2002 gold-medalist Clark and secure the bronze medal. To no one’s surprise, the American-Phenom Kim - whose last name literally means ‘gold’ in Korean - took home the gold medal with dominating runs of 93.75 and 98.25. China’s Liu Jiayu captured the silver, the first medal for team China in the PyeongChang games.
Here’s a look at Arielle Gold’s bronze-medal winning run:
Arielle Gold put herself in position to be on the podium for Team USA. #WinterOlympics https://t.co/D65Nuoyydu pic.twitter.com/g3VZJVFqRB— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 13, 2018
Per her NBCOlympics.com bio, the 21-year old Steamboat Springs, Colo. native can often be found riding horses when she’s not snowboarding. A quick search of Gold’s twitter feed (@ariellegold) reveals she’s also an avid Denver Broncos fan. Maybe the Broncos organization will let the bronze medalist lead the team onto Sports Authority Field at Mile High this fall aboard Thunder?