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Nick Baumgartner Grabs Third Place at Snowboardcross Olympic Venue

By Bob Reinert | Nov. 28, 2021, 12 p.m. (ET)

Nick Baumgartner crosses the finish line in the men's snowboard cross semifinal at the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup 2022 on Nov. 28, 2021 in Zhangjiakou, China.


It would seem that Nick Baumgartner has discovered something akin to the fountain of youth.

Acting nothing like the 39-year-old he is, the three-time Olympian and member of the U.S. men’s snowboardcross team rode to a third-place finish Sunday in the first Olympic test event at Secret Garden in Zhangjiakou, China.

Alessandro Haemmerle of Austria won the initial world cup event, which took place on a 4,110-foot-long course with 45 features that was nearly identical to the planned Olympic course that will be used in February for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Italy’s Omar Visintin placed second, just 0.50 seconds back, with Baumgartner 0.60 behind Haemmerle. They were joined in the final heat by Austria’s Jakob Dusek, who finished fourth, 0.77 seconds off the pace.

“First race of the season and I’m so excited to land on the podium!” Baumgartner wrote on Facebook. “The fact that it was on the Olympic course makes it that much sweeter.

“When you have days like today it makes all the sacrifices worth it! Thanks so much to everyone that believed in me and also thanks to everyone that didn’t because you had a lot to do with it too.”

Baumgartner, an Iron River, Michigan, resident, had his best Olympic result at PyeongChang in 2018, narrowly missing the podium with a fourth-place showing in snowboardcross. He turns 40 next month.

A former All-America high school wrestler and college football linebacker, Baumgartner is in his 16th year with the U.S. national team. He made his debut back in 2005.

Fellow American Mick Dierdorff, a 30-year-old from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, finished sixth Sunday. Dierdorff was fifth in the event at the Winter Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018. 

Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic, the 2018 Olympic bronze medalist, won the women’s event. She and Haemmerle emerge from Secret Garden as the early world cup points leaders.
Stacy Gaskill, 21, of Golden, Colorado, was the top American woman, placing eighth.

Team USA is expected to compete in 10 singles and a pair of mixed team events at nine resorts. The next stop is Montafon, Austria, with singles on Dec. 10 and the mixed team event the following day.

Bob Reinert

Bob Reinert spent 17 years writing sports for The Boston Globe. He also served as a sports information director at Saint Anselm College and Phillips Exeter Academy. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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