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US take first-ever Olympic mixed snowboard cross

The US team are the first Olympic champions in the mixed snowboard cross, taking gold at the Beijing Winter Games on Saturday.

The US team are the first Olympic champions in the mixed snowboard cross, taking gold at the Beijing Winter Games on Saturday.

The maiden mixed team event – featuring one man and one woman per team per race – was held in heavy snow with poor visibility at times.

The American team of Nick Baumgartner and Lindsey Jacobellis narrowly edged out Italy’s Omar Visintin and Michela Moioli who took silver.

Baumgartner crossed the line first in the men’s wave, but it was Moioli who led the women’s for much of the race. Jacobellis was able to pass her in the final section of the course to cross the line first.

Baumgartner, who finished 10th in the individual event, said the gold was unbelievable.

“These tears are so much better than the ones from the other day.”

He said riding with Jacobellis took pressure of himself.

“I knew if I messed up she could cover for me, but I wanted to prove to everyone what I wanted to prove two days ago – and I did that today.”

It is the second gold of the Games for five-time Olympian Jacobellis, 36, who took the women’s event on Wednesday.

“We came in hot today, we’re really excited about it,” she said.

Moioli said her silver medal was “revenge” after her eighth place in the individual race.

“I gave it all to try to win, I tried everything, but I’m super happy with this medal and super happy to do this with Omar, who’s a friend and a champion. I’m really proud of him and the way we rode today and we deserved it.”

Visintin, who raced first, said it was hard to watch Jacobellis and Moioli battle it out.

“It was a good race, so much fun riding today because it was way less tense than two days ago, but being down in the bottom, watching Michela fighting with Lindsey, I was so scared and it was so emotional.”

He won bronze in the individual event and said he knew another medal was possible.

“But standing here now it’s just wow. This one I feel it’s a whole team effort, not just me or just us two.”

Eliot Grondin and Meryeta Odine of Canada took bronze, with Lorenzo and Sommariva and Caterina Carpano of Italy just missing the podium.

Odine collided with Carpano but regained her feet to claim her second bronze of the Games.

“I just instantly got up and started hiking up the jump to trying to get on the podium.”

Grondin said he too had a hard time waiting at the bottom for his team mate.

“I didn’t know if she was OK, or anything. So I was just waiting and hoping she was fine and that she kept going. And then I saw her name on the split times and I said, ‘Come on’. Then she jumped to the finish line and I was like, ‘Ahh, we did it’. It’s crazy, unreal.”

Current world champion Australia’s Belle Brockhoff was knocked out of the competition after she fell in the quarter-finals. The competition was put on hold while she received medical treatment on the course.

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