Selina Joerg, Dmitry Loginov win gold in snowboard parallel GS at worlds
PARK CITY, Utah — Selina Joerg now has two of the most prestigious medals in alpine snowboarding. A year after winning an Olympic silver medal in giant slalom in the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, she added a world championship gold in the same event in Park City.
On Monday, the 31-year-old German defeated Natalia Soboleva of Russia in the final head-to-head giant slalom race on Picabo’s run at Park City Mountain Resort.
Constant snowfall throughout the day under a cloudy sky created tricky conditions for the racers.
Joerg and her fellow competitors raced around the course’s gates in tracks that had formed banked turns in the deepening snow. However, the biggest challenge wasn’t the snow on the ground, but rather the flakes in the air.
“We couldn’t see how the snow really was,” Joerg said. “Over the last day, there came a lot of snow. I think all of us prefer more hard conditions, but today it was a little bit soft. But visibility was the hardest thing.”
She said it was frustrating to see the snow fall after days of bluebird training runs, but it didn’t dampen her excitement to earn a medal, and neither did the exhausting effort of preparing for and winning a medal the season before in the Pyeongchang Olympics.
“It was not hard to refocus,” she said. “When you are once on a podium in a big event, you know how the feeling is, and in some ways you know why you are training so hard, because it’s just an amazing feeling to be on a podium.”
She said hearing the German national anthem play at the base area as she stood with a golden snowflake around her neck was exactly what every athlete hopes to experience.
“To stand on top today was amazing,” she said. “It was a hard day but it was not a problem to focus after the Olympics last year.”
Soboleva took silver, followed by Ladina Jenny of Switzerland in third.
The conditions were no better for the men’s competition, in which Dmitry Loginov of Russia took first.
The 19-year-old said it was incredible to move up from the junior level and take a medal at the World Championships.
“I still can’t believe it,” Loginov said through a translator. “It’s like I’m in shock right now. I was planning to win the medal, and it happened, but tomorrow will bring the feeling.”
He defeated Tim Mastnak of Slovenia in a head-to-head race. In third place was Stefan Baumeister of Germany. He defeated Vic Wild of Russia, who had competed in Park City before.
Wild raced for the U.S. national team until it cut funding for alpine snowboarding in 2010. After that, he married Russian snowboarder Alena Zavarzina and started competing for Team Russia, where he has distinguished himself.
In 2014 he won the gold in both slalom and parallel slalom when Russia held the Olympics on home soil in Sochi. For Wild’s success, Russian President Vladimir Putin presented him with the Order for Merit to the Fatherland.
Wild said it was good to be back in Park City, where he briefly lived before moving to Russia.
“I was surprised, actually, to see the town” he said. “The downtown is even more done up for Sundance, so it’s extra nice. But this place is doing well.”
He lives in Moscow now, though he said he prefers to spend his time training outside the city — in Sochi or around Europe.
As for competing in the States after moving to Russia, he said he wasn’t thinking about it much.
“I’m here to do my work,” he said.
Which, he said, is similar to how the snowboarding community regards his switching national teams.
“Obviously, the governments don’t get along very well right now, but I can’t control that,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter to me. … Everybody in snowboarding is like, ‘Dude, you’re the man, well done. A smart move.’”
The Russian team had four competitors in the semifinals.
Wild said the team has only gotten stronger since his success in Sochi.
“I think I kind of created some monsters,” he said jokingly. “I didn’t really know it until pretty recently, but once they saw that — once they saw me win they were like ‘Oh, we can do that, too. Now they believe. We have four very strong riders here and any one of us can win any of these races.”
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