O’Dine wins Olympic snowboard cross bronze at Beijing 2022

Meryeta O’Dine has won bronze in women’s snowboard cross for her first career Olympic medal at Beijing 2022.

Racing in the four-woman big final, O’Dine settled into third place early behind American Lindsey Jacobellis and France’s Chloé Trespeuch. She held her line the entire way down the course, keeping Australian Belle Brockhoff behind her right through the finish.

Three snowboaders race to the finish line in a snowboard cross race
United States’ Lindsey Jacobellis crosses the finish line ahead of France’s Chloe Trespeuch and Canada’s Meryeta Odine in the women’s snowboard cross final at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in Zhangjiakou, China on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

O’Dine was set to make her first Olympic appearance at PyeongChang 2018, but she suffered a concussion in a training crash just two days before the women’s snowboard cross event, preventing her from competing. That was the fifth concussion of her career. She experienced some personal hardship in 2020 when her brother Brandon lost his battle with cancer, but she came back to the World Cup circuit in January 2021 after working with psychologists to help her re-learn how to be an Olympic level athlete.

Jacobellis finally won the gold medal in her fifth Olympic appearance. She had taken silver back in the event’s debut at Turin 2006. Trespeuch added the silver to the bronze she won at Sochi 2014.

Meryeta O'Dine holds Canadian flag on the podium
Team Canada snowboarder Meryeta O’Dine places third in the women’s snowboard cross final during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games on Wednesday, February 09, 2022. Photo by Leah Hennel/COC

O’Dine had advanced into big final by winning her semifinal heat, coming back from fourth place early on in the run to cross the line in first place. O’Dine had also won her quarterfinal and 1/8 final after being third-fastest in the seeding runs to start the day.

Though she has been competing on the FIS World Cup circuit since 2015, she has just one career World Cup podium, which came back in February 2017. She nearly hit the podium in December 2021 when she finished fourth in a big final in Montafon, Austria.

This is Canada’s fourth Olympic medal in women’s snowboard cross. Maëlle Ricker won gold at Vancouver 2010 while Dominique Maltais owns the other two, taking bronze at Turin 2006 and silver at Sochi 2014.

Tess Critchlow raced in the small final, finishing second to leave her in sixth place overall.