Alex Diebold competes at the U.S. Grand Prix on Jan. 19, 2017 in Solitude, Utah.
Alex Deibold won an Olympic bronze medal in snowboardcross in 2014, and while you wouldn’t have to go back that far to find his last trip to the podium in a world cup event, it had been a while.
The 33-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, snapped a drought that was approaching three years on Saturday when he took third place in the big final of the world cup stop north of the border at Big White Ski Resort in British Columbia, Canada. It was his first podium finish since taking second place in Veysonnaz, Switzerland. on March 25, 2017.
Deibold had raced twice before this season, finishing 42nd in Montafon, Austria, in December and 25th the next week in Cervinia, Italy. On Saturday, however, he kept pushing his way forward throughout the heats leading up to the final, finishing second in his quarterfinal heat and again in the semifinal to become one of just four riders to make the big final. He held the third position throughout the last race. This marks his sixth career podium finish on the world cup circuit. He has also competed at the world championships four times, twice finishing 15th.
Deibold most recently served as a mentor at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, as an official Athlete Role Model. He earned widespread praise and support when he posted on Instagram last spring about his struggles with the post-season comedown and how athletes can struggle, writing that “It’s OK to not be OK all the time.”
A women’s snowboardcross event was also held Saturday at Big White, with Faye Gulini leading the Americans in finishing seventh.