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Canada wins bronze in first Mixed Team Snowboard Cross event at Olympics

Canada wins bronze in first Mixed Team Snowboard Cross event at Olympics

Canada has secured a spot on the inaugural Olympic podium for Mixed Team Snowboard Cross as Eliot Grondin and Meryeta O’Dine have won the bronze medal.

It is the second medal for both Grondin and O’Dine at the Beijing Winter Olympics. Grondin, of St-Romuald, Que., won the silver in men’s snowboard cross while O’Dine, of Prince George, B.C., earned bronze in the women’s snowboard cross.

It is Canada’s 13th medal in Beijing and eighth bronze.

This is the first time the mixed event has been contested at an Olympic Games. It features a two-person relay race consisting of one male and one female competitor per team. Each race begins with four boarders from different teams leaving the gates simultaneously. As the first boarder traverses the course, the teammates prepare themselves at the top of the hill.

The male teammates go first and once their official times are logged the female competitors will be released from the starting gate at corresponding staggered times. The first team to have both competitors cross the finish line, barring contact infractions and/or disqualifications, is the winner.

Americans Nick Baumgartner and Lindsey Jacobellis won the gold and Italy’s Omar Visintin and Michela Moioli claimed silver. Italy’s second team of Lorenzo Sommariva and Caterina Carpano finished fourth.

There was some drama in the final as O’Dine and Carpano collided mid-way through the second leg, giving Jacobellis and Moioli a wide gap to race for the gold. Both O’Dine and Carpano were able to finish the race with the Canadian coming in ahead to claim the bronze.

Liam Moffatt of Truro, N.S. and of Prince George, B.C. — Team Canada 2 — finished third in their quarterfinal race and did not advance.

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Watch Canadian snowboarders go for Olympic gold in mixed team cross event | CBC Sports

Watch Canadian snowboarders go for Olympic gold in mixed team cross event | CBC Sports

Click on the video player above to watch live coverage of the inaugural Olympic mixed team snowboard cross event at the Beijing Games, featuring two Canadian teams.

Live action from Genting Snow Park begins on Friday with the quarter-finals at 9 p.m. ET, followed by the semifinals at 9:30 p.m. ET. The medal final will get underway after the conclusion of the small final (9:50 p.m. ET).

Fifteen mixed teams of two will compete for a spot on the podium. Beijing medallists Meryeta O’Dine and Éliot Grondin are riding as one of the Canadian teams, while returning Olympian Tess Critchlow and Olympic rookie Liam Moffatt will form the other.

O’Dine and Grondin are aiming to return to the podium after each won medals in their respective individual snowboard cross events earlier this week. Grondin won silver in a photo finish, while O’Dine claimed bronze after overcoming major adversity on her Olympic journey.

WATCH | O’Dine’s path to Olympic bronze far from easy:

‘With a lot of vengeance’: Meryeta O’Dine’s path to Olympic bronze far from easy

Meryeta O’Dine has been tested mentally, emotionally and physically—but her perseverance took her all the way to the Olympic podium, winning snowboard cross bronze. 1:28

Critchlow finished ninth in snowboard cross as the top Canadian woman four years ago in Pyeongchang, while Moffatt is competing at his first Olympics after finishing seventh at the world championships. 

Critchlow finished sixth in the women’s snowboard cross event in Beijing (second in the small final), while Moffatt failed to qualify for the quarter-finals in the men’s event.

WATCH | Grondin captures Olympic silver in photo finish:

Quebec’s Éliot Grondin settles for silver in Olympic snowboard cross photo finish

Éliot Grondin of Sainte-Marie, Que., finished in second place, just behind Austria’s Alessandro Haemmerle in the Beijing 2022 Olympic men’s snowboard cross big final. 4:56