Rachel Axon

 |  USA TODAY Sports

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — With her shoulder dislocated, Arielle Gold wondered if this would be Sochi all over again.

In her first Olympics four years ago, the halfpipe snowboarder suffered that injury after falling in the poor halfpipe in training. She didn’t even get to compete in qualifying and has struggled with it recurring since.

So dislocating it again two days into practice in Pyeongchang, momentarily left her with doubt.

“To just be able to kind of push through that is proving more so to myself than anything that I’m capable of overcoming whatever’s thrown at me,” Gold said.

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Pushing through is an understatement. Gold earned the bronze medal on Tuesday, claiming her first Olympic medal by putting down a difficult third run that included a 1080.

“I think putting down that second run definitely took some of the pressure off because I could focus on third run,” Gold said. “My second run felt great, and I knew third run all I had to do was let things go and put it all out there and that’s what I tried to do.”

Gold, 21, has worked with a sports psychologist since Sochi to overcome the fear that came from getting hurt the first time. In Sochi, she had landed the trick and was riding out of it before catching her board on a bump in the halfpipe.

Over the past season, she’s developed a more positive approach that has helped with that fear and made her love snowboarding again.

On Tuesday, overcoming the same challenge she faced four years ago made her podium finish all the more gratifying.

“It feels amazing,” she said.

 

 



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