Coming into the last jumps in the Snowboard Cross finals at the 2006 Winter Olympics, America’s Lindsey Jacobellis was in such a commanding lead it seemed no one could keep her from winning the gold medal.
No one, but herself, that is….
What should have been a runaway victory for the 20-year-old snowboarding sensation quickly turned into an embarrassing fiasco when Jacobellis decided to “showboat” in front of the grandstands. In midair, she grabbed the edge of her board for “style points,” but instead of looking cool, she looked like a fool.
Unable to land the unnecessary – and prideful – stunt, she slammed into the packed snow while Switzerland’s Tanja Frieden flew past her to capture the gold medal. Jacobellis recovered quickly, but had to settle for silver.
To most people watching the event, her actions were viewed as inexcusable hot-dogging; even her family members and coach were in shock. During the ensuing press conference, Lindsey tried to dismiss the stunt as an attempt to “create stability,” but also admitted to being “caught up in the moment.” Several hours later during a conference call, however, she changed her tune. “I was having fun. I was ahead. I wanted to share my enthusiasm with the crowd. I messed up. Oh well, it happens.”
The failed stunt has been immortalized as the “Lindsey Leap.” Sadly, the whole fiasco could have been avoided if Jacobellis would have heeded the wisdom of Proverbs 16:18.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Pride and gold medals just don’t seem to go together.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)