Holland looks to break through in snowboardcross

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm •  Published: February 16, 2014

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — The celebration was in full force at the bottom of the hill.

Seth Wescott had won his second straight Olympic gold medal, staging an out-of-nowhere comeback over Canadian Mike Robertson.

In third place, Toni Ramoin of France.

Nate Holland finished fourth.

"When I want to walk out of the gym these days, all I have to do is remember that feeling in the bottom of the course," Holland said. "The feeling when they asked me to step out of the corral because they needed to do the awards ceremony."

If he hasn't been the best overall snowboardcross rider over the past eight years, Holland has been among the best big-day riders in the sport. His seven Winter X Games titles, including the one he took last month, are proof. Yet his Olympic journeys have belied all that success. They have been filled with nothing but heartache.

While Lindsey Jacobellis, who endured another heartbreaker with her seventh-place finish Sunday, has been the poster child for America's frustration in Olympic snowboardcross, Holland has felt the same kind of pain.

Two trips. No wins. No hardware at all, in fact. He finished 14th at the Turin Games. Both times, his disappointment was overshadowed by Wescott's triumphs.

But a knee injury prevented Wescott from earning a chance at a third straight gold. Meanwhile, unlike Jacobellis, who tempers her enthusiasm for an event that has treated her cruelly, Holland doesn't mask his passion.

"An Olympic medal has been a goal of mine since 2004, when I heard boardercross was going to be in," Holland said. "That's 10 years I haven't been able to achieve that goal. You always want what you don't have and that's the one medal in my trophy case that's missing."

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