Canada's Meryeta O'Dine rides to bronze in women's snowboard cross
24-year-old from Prince George, B.C., wins 1st Olympic medal, Canada's 7th of Games
Meryeta O'Dine of Prince George, B.C., won the first Olympic medal of her career, capturing bronze in the women's snowboard cross competition, sharing the podium with gold-medal winner Lindsey Jacobellis, of the U.S., and France's Chloe Trespeuch, who earned silver.
O'Dine is making her Olympic debut in Beijing. She made Canada's team for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games but suffered a concussion after a fall in training two days before her event.
Four years later, O'Dine returns to the Olympic stage — this time landing on a podium.
WATCH | Meryeta O'Dine wins bronze in women's snowboard cross:
"It's really full-circle from the last Olympics when I had such a bad concussion," she said after Wednesday's final.
O'Dine's medal doesn't just come after encountering difficulty in Pyeongchang, but in the wake of her brother's passing.
Her brother, Brandon, died of a brain tumour in early 2020, forcing Meryeta and her parents into months of mourning.
"That was an absolutely crazy time; it was a very long and painful way to go — we were in the hospice for a very long time, and we were in the gym in the basement of the hospice," O'Dine said. "I really had the support of my friends, family and community, and all those things came together and made me feel the best that I absolutely could coming into this year."
WATCH | O'Dine reflects on death of brother, painful journey to Olympic bronze:
O'Dine was not considered a favourite to earn a podium at these Olympics, with just one World Cup medal to her name. However, a third-place finish in the seeding run and a fall from defending Olympic champion Michela Moioli of Italy helped propel her to bronze.
Jacobellis gets over the hump
Jacobellis, 36, captured Olympic gold for the first time in her career, 16 years after attempting a method-grab on the final jump while leading at Turin 2006, crashing and surrendering the Olympic title.
"That defined me for such a long time," Jacobellis said. "I've won just about everything else, and this was still out of grasp, so I didn't really know how today would go. But I was feeling the starts; they were working for me."
Audrey McManiman of Saint-Ambroise-de-Kildare, Que., finished 13th in the seeding run before being eliminated in the quarter-finals of the knockout stage, along with fellow Canadian Zoe Bergermann, or Georgetown, Ont.
A Canadian had not won an Olympic medal in the women's snowboard cross since Dominique Maltais won silver at Sochi 2014, while no one from Team Canada has captured gold since Maëlle Ricker won at Vancouver 2010.
Ricker, 43, is in Beijing working as a coach with the Canadian snowboard cross program.
After O'Dine's medal kicked things off in snowboard cross, the men's competition begins on Wednesday at 10:15 p.m. ET, streaming live on CBC Gem, the CBC Sports app and the CBC Sports' Beijing 2022 website.
WATCH | Replay of the women's snowboard cross final:
With files from The Canadian Press