While snowboarding has been a popular recreational activity for many years, it only became recognized as an Olympic sport in 1998. Despite being one of the youngest sports in the event, there have been plenty of great moments over the last 23 years. These are the five most memorable moments in Olympic snowboarding history.
First Gold Medal
There was no bigger time in the snowboarding community than when the first gold medal was awarded. This marked the mainstream acceptance of the sport. Ross Rebagliati won the medal for the men’s giant slalom. Rebagliati was briefly stripped of the title for a failed drug test, but he eventually got this decision overturned.
Chris Klug’s Comeback
Chris Klug was a popular snowboarded that unexpectedly had to undergo a liver transplant in 2000. He did not let this setback stop him from living his dream. Klug made his Olympic debut two years later where he walked away with the bronze medal in the giant slalom. This moment proved that anything is possible if you put in enough work.
Shaun White’s Debut
Shaun White is perhaps the most successful snowboarder of all-time. He was an unknown teenager when he made his Olympic debut in 2006. White showed off his immense talent by easily winning the gold medal in the men’s halfpipe. His impressive performance and flowing red hair helped him earn the admiration of fans throughout the world.
Hannah Teter’s First Gold
Another snowboarding superstar was created one day after Shaun White took home his first gold medal. Hannah Teter won the gold medal in the women’s halfpipe event at 19 years old. She quickly became the face of the sport for women everywhere. Teter ultimately did not have the same success as White, but her Olympic debut is still a defining moment for American snowboarding.
Lindsey Jacobellis Fall
The 2006 Olympics in Torino was filled with iconic moments. A few days after two American teenagers won gold, another young star came up just short. Lindsey Jacobellis was dominating the boardercross event when she attempted a celebratory trick on the final jump. Jacobellis failed to land the trick and had to settle for the silver medal after the crash. Her fall will live on in infamy forever.