One of the sport’s all-time greats is hanging up his competitive snowboard.
Seth Wescott, winner of the first Olympic men’s snowboardcross medal in 2006, who then successfully defended that gold medal in 2010, announced his transition to the next phase in life on Sunday by referencing a classic 1991 snowboard film.
“Ever since I saw Craig Kelly riding through the trees in Japan in ‘Scream of Consciousness’ I knew that was where I wanted to spend time every year,” he wrote on his Instagram account, “and finally after 20 seasons with @ussnowboardteam I have decided to be done putting on bibs for events.”
The Sugarloaf, Maine, native, who turned 42 this past summer, fell short of an Olympic three-peat when a knee injury kept him out of the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. His next attempt to qualify for a third Games earlier this year in PyeongChang fell short, too.
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Wescott’s last race in an FIS-sanctioned event was in December 2017, when he finished 46th at a world cup stop in Cervinia, Italy.
For his FIS career, Wescott recorded 10 podium finishes, including three wins, and in addition to winning the 2005 world title he finished three times as runner-up. He has 94 world cup starts to his name over 19 seasons, including 16 in halfpipe and one in big air.
In an X Games career dating back to 1998, Wescott won nine medals, including one gold, while competing in both snowboardcross and halfpipe events.
Most famously, though, Wescott claimed the sport’s first Olympic gold medal when he made a late move to take the gold medal in Torino. Four years later, he came into the Vancouver Games as a wild card after injuries and inconsistency only to make the final and then launch a move from last to first to claim his second gold medal.
“He's a big-event rider,” Canada’s Mike Robertson said afterward. “He knows how to turn it on, and he did today.”
Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic movement for TeamUSA.org since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.