News

Deibold waxes lyrical after snowboard bronze

Deibold waxes lyrical after snowboard bronze

BRONZE: Second-placed Russia's Nikolay Olyunin, winner France's Pierre Vaultier and third-placed Alex Deibold of the U.S. celebrate after their men's snowboard cross competition at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Photo: Reuters

By Philip O’Connor

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) – Four years ago in Vancouver, Alex Deibold’s job was waxing snowboards for his American team mates but on Tuesday at the Sochi Games he sailed past them all to win an Olympic bronze.

There were others on the team considered to have stronger medal chances in snowboard cross than the 27-year-old from New Haven, Connecticut but none of them made the final.

Deibold avoided the bumps, thumps and wipeouts on the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park course to place third in each of his four runs, the final one delivering an Olympic medal.

“I tried not to think too far ahead,” a smiling Deibold told a news conference.

SPECIAL SECTION: 2014 Sochi Games

“It’s the small things, the attention to detail. Even when I showed up this morning I never thought about the podium.”

Deibold’s Sochi success was rooted in his participation as a wax technician in Vancouver four years ago, where he prepared the boards of the Olympic riders.

“In 2010, I enjoyed the moment,” he told a news conference. “But I certainly looked back on 2010 quite a bit, usually as motivation.”

U.S. team leader Nate Holland watched Deibold’s final run from the bottom of the slope and helped lift him in the air in celebration when he crossed the line third.

“He’s been with the team since the early days. He’s been working hard and he doesn’t always get the results year in year out,” said Holland.

“For Deibold to medal is a testament to how strong our team is, because any of us could have medalled.”

Deibold appreciated the welcome he got from his better-known team mate.

“To have Nate tackle me at the bottom and hug me, and support me the way he did, that was a great moment,” Deibold said.

“He’s such a fierce competitor that you don’t always see that out of him, and to have him lift me up like that was a pretty cool feeling.”

The four years since Vancouver have contained plenty of hard work for Deibold, with serious hand and shoulder injuries thrown in for good measure.

And even when he battled his way to a place on the snowboard cross team, his waxing duties continued.

“It was tough watching my team mates not have to do it, but I enjoyed the process, because it’s the hard work that got me here,” he said.

“I’m going to enjoy not waxing my own snowboards for a little while.”

(Edited by Peter Rutherford)

Recent Headlines

in National

Jobless claims signal firmer labor market

Job seekers adjust their paperwork as they wait in line to attend a job fair in New York February 28, 2013.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market continued to strengthen.

in National

Accused Boston bomber appears in court

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, for a final hearing before his trial begins in January. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

The Boston Marathon bombing suspect told a judge that he was satisfied with his lawyers' preparations for the January start of his trial over the deadly 2013 attack.

in Sports

Thursday’s Sports Minute

grizzlies

Here's a look at some of the big sports stories making headlines today, Thursday, Dec. 18.

in Sports

Ray Rice investigation heating up

Former Baltimore Ravens NFL running back Ray Rice and his wife Janay arrive for a hearing at a New York City office building November 5, 2014.

Hundreds of NFL employees gave records to investigators looking into how Commissioner Roger Goodell handled evidence in the Ray Rice case.

in Lifestyle

We’re living 6 years longer

doctor

Fewer people are dying from cancer and heart disease in rich countries and there's a better survival rate in poor countries from tuberculosis and malaria.