Canadian snowboarder Jasey-Jay Anderson overcame a 0.76 second deficit in the the final of men’s parallel giant slalom, to win gold Saturday at Cypress Mountain.
Anderson triumphed through fog and rain, edging rival Benjamin Karl of Austria,who took silver.
It was a long-time coming for Anderson, who has 59 podium finishes and 26 victories in 207 career World Cup starts, but hasn’t reached the podium in the past four Olympics.
“It’s been my whole life,” Anderson told CTV, “You really need to persevere and be hard-headed many many times.”
The 34-year-old defeated Tyler Jewell of the United States, Rok Flanders of Slovenia and Stanislav Detkov of Russia to reach the finals, where he delivered the run of his life to beat the superstar Karl.
The win was well deserved for Anderson, who’s been in the sport nearly 20 years, and is a four-time world champion, however, he seemed surprised as he pumped his fists at the finish.
“It was definitely surreal,” he said to CTV. “I’m shocked.”
Anderson fought off tears as cameras showed his young daughters celebrating in the stands.
Later, he spoke of course conditions being a factor in overcoming Karl in the end.
“I had the better course and my style of riding requires a better course,” he said to Canwest News Service. “When it’s rough, I always get those mistakes in there and they break up the momentum.”
Karl, the 24-year-old in his first Olympics had looked poised to win gold, as he defeated Anderson in the first heat of the final.
However, it wasn’t enough to stop the Canadian, who stunned the noisy crowd with his comeback.
“I just thought a true athlete thrives on adversity,” he said to CBC. “So, I tried to be a true athlete.”
Other Canadians competing, Matthew Morison and Michael Lambert, finished in 11th and 12th respectively but did not make it through qualifiers for the quarterfinal run.
France’s Mathieu Bozzetto won bronze.