Ricker gives Canada a second gold medal

Canada’s Maëlle Ricker went home Tuesday night with a gold medal ceremony to look forward to after winning the snowboard cross final at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Ricker can say it was worth the wait. She was dreaming about this final since Torino 2006 when she finished fourth.

Now, the new world champion can take a deep breath and enjoy the victory that represented Canada’s second gold.

“I really wanted to get out of the gate as fast as I could and try to ride a smooth line,” Ricker said. “We are having a lot of fun and absolutely enjoying every minute. Thank you so much Canada”.

A native of North Vancouver, Ricker had a first round slow race finishing 21 seconds behind leader Mellie Francon, of Switzerland.

But it seemed that it was just a warm up for the 31-year-old as she corrected her way in the second round, quarter finals and semifinals where she dominated from start to finish.

Ricker won the gold medal with a perfect race and precise jumps that helped her to finish in front of France´s Deborah Anthonioz, second and Swiss athlete Olivia Nobs, third.

Jacobellis did it again

America´s Lindsey Jacobellis did it again.

The actual snowboard cross champion of the X-Games repeated the nightmare from Torino 2006.

Jacobellis lost the gold medal four years ago when she decided to grab the board right before the finish line falling out of the track, while being passed by the Swiss Tanja Frieden.

This time, Jacobellis tried to avoid contact with Ricker’s board in a jump in the semifinals and she couldn’t land it. It was impossible for her to recover.

However, she captured first place in the small final, the consolation round.

Unlucky ride

Canada’s Dominique Maltais, the bronze medalist in 2006, was a strong contender for a podium on this Olympics. But Tuesday was just a bad day for her.

The Petite-Riviere-St-Francois native couldn’t even get started as she was disqualified in the first round for going off the course and missing a gate.

She finished 20th overall.