Dutch Sauerbreij, the golden girl of parallel giant slalom

Nicolien Sauerbreij of the Netherlands maintained the consistency during the competition to take the gold in the snowboard parallel giant slalom final, at the Vancouver Olympic Games.

In the misty Cypress Mountain, Sauerbreij rode the final against Russia’s Ekaterina Ilyukhina where the Dutch got the first snowboard medal for her country. Ilyukhina took the silver.

The fight for the bronze happened between Austria’s world champion Marion Kreiner, who took the medal and Germany’s Selina Joerg.

From the qualification round to the final stage, the foggy conditions seemed to be a factor in the numerous falls and slips.

But this couldn’t stop Sauerbreij from riding with confidence and recover from the .02 second disadvantage she had after the first run in the final. For the second run, the 30-year-old was .23 seconds faster than Ilyukhina.

With the highest hope for a medal, Canada’s Alexa Loo had a good ride in the qualification round, advancing to the next stage.

However, Germany’s Anke Karstens was faster than Loo in both runs and put her out of the competition. Richmond native finished 12th, improving her result from Torino 2006, where she finished 20th.

“If you don’t qualify, you don’t get to play,” said Loo to CTV. “I got to play today and I lost by a hundredth of a second. That’s the way it goes.”

Caroline Calve and Kimiko Zakreski finished 20th and 29th respectively.