February 18, 2014, KRASNAYA POLYANA (ISN) – Kevin Hill of Vernon, B.C., completed a wild day of riding in eighth place on Tuesday in the men’s snowboardcross at the Olympic Games.
Pierre Vaultier of France won the gold medal finishing ahead of Nikolay Olyunin of Russia and Alex Deibold of the U.S., in sloppy wet conditions which saw heavy fog roll in at the top of the course by the quarterfinals.
The competition had been delayed one day because of fog. Visibility had improved at the beginning of Tuesday’s racing but as the morning progressed the fog started to cover the course and it became harder to see, although enough visibility remained to run the finals.
Hill displayed a lot of poise in all his races on Tuesday surviving dicey moments in both the round of 16 and quarterfinals to move within one race of the championship final. In the semi, Hill again was riding brilliantly moving into second place at one point. However at mid-course he collided with Lucas Eguibar of Spain after both tried to gain control after a jump.
Hill smashed his goggles and had scrapes over his face, his medal chances now vanished.
”I was sitting in second and I felt like I was going to the final,” said Hill. “Next thing you know I am on my face with my goggles broken in four pieces. I’m glad I wasn’t knocked out. It’s just the sport. Random things happen at random times.”
In the small final, Hill took second spot behind Eguibar for eighth overall.
Chris Robanske of Calgary was eliminated in the quarterfinals for 17th place. Robanske was enjoying a great quarterfinal race before he collided with Paul Berg of Germany near the finish.
“You can be so on it but things than get out of control,” said Robanske, who had buried a Lucky Loonie near the finish line. “That’s part of the sport.”
Jake Holden of Caledon, Ont., and Robert Fagan of Squamish, B.C., were ousted in the 1/8th final to both rank 25th.
Snowboard competition at the Games resumes Wednesday with the men’s and women’s parallel giant slalom.