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

3 hours ago in Sports

The best sports shots this week

A horse is ridden to the track for a workout at Churchill Downs Thursday, May 5, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. The 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 7. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

A look back at some of the biggest plays and best moments in sports this week.

3 hours ago in Sports

The weekend sports schedule

derby16125540087682

Here’s a look at some of the sporting events taking place this weekend.

4 hours ago in Entertainment

OPENING WEEKEND: ‘Captain America: Civil War’ is finally here

10-overlay

Here's a look at some of the films set to open this weekend.

4 hours ago in National

Making headlines this week

A member of the NATO parachute demonstration team lands during a change of command ceremony at NATO military headquarters in Mons, southern Belgium on Wednesday May 4, 2016. U.S. Army General Curtis  M. Scaparrotti was installed as NATO's 18th supreme allied commander Europe (SACEUR). The commander, by tradition an American general or admiral, is responsible for the overall direction and conduct of NATO's global military operations. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

A look back at some of the biggest stories this week and the headlines you may have missed.

4 hours ago in Lifestyle, National

Anti-hunger group uses fake app to fool, educate

18-overlay

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 14 percent of Americans, or more than 17 million people, are what is called food insecure, meaning at times of the year, they are uncertain of being able to acquire enough food for their household.