Snowboard returned to the Paralympics for the second time at PyeongChang 2018. Here are the moments that warmed the hearts of many:
Bibian Mentel-Spee wins against the odds
The story behind Bibian Mentel-Spee’s two gold medals is an unprecedented one.
The multi-world and Paralympic champion underwent cancer treatment in the beginning of the season, followed by neck surgery. But one could not tell she spent most of her time in the hospital when she rode to gold in the women’s snowboard-cross and banked slalom SB-LL2.
Style points for Mike Minor
The US snowboarder entertained the crowd with his stylish kickers at the end of his qualification runs. But he crashed out of gold medal contention in the snowboard-cross and settled for bronze, and the pressure was higher for the favourite in the banked slalom.
In his last run – his last chance for gold in banked slalom – the 27-year-old gave the ride of his life to shave off the necessary seconds to win the gold.
His own performance left him in tears.
Gurimu Narita, speed demon
Narita became the first Asian snowboarder to win Paralympic gold, and the Japanese rider will continue to be one to watch in the men’s SB-LL2.
In the banked slalom, he kept taking off time after each run and was the only snowboarder to break sub-49 seconds.
Brenna Huckaby lives up to expectations
The USA’s Huckaby entered as one of the most high-profile athletes. Multi-world champion at 22 years old, and also a mother, Huckaby rode with fire to win the women’s snowboard-cross and banked slalom SB-LL1 races.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
Australian fans were ringing throughout the competition, especially for Simon Patmore. The 30-year-old won the men’s snowboard-cross SB-UL event, which ended Australia’s 16-year gold medal drought. At the end of his run, he collapsed on the snow in disbelief and later celebrated by balancing his board on his chin during the recognition ceremony.
The official site for PyeongChang 2018 can be found here.