Lily Ives ’23
Team USA claimed its first medal of the 2022 Beijing Olympics on February 5th with Julia Marino’s showstopping silver medal snowboarding run. Marino, unlike many of her U.S. snowboard slopestyle teammates who are native to the snowy mountains of the West Coast, lives just an hour down the road from Trinity in Westport, Connecticut. Growing up and living in Connecticut, the Olympic medalist had to seek out unique ways to keep up with her competition who seemingly have the perfect slopes set in their backyards. With the lack of access to real ways to train during the COVID-19 pandemic, Marino created a snow park in her own backyard to occupy herself and upkeep her rigorous training regimen. Looking for a quick way to hit the slopes nearby Trinity? Now you know where to go just an hour down the road!
With all eyes initially on the USA team’s two-time defending gold medalist Jamie Anderson, Marino stole the spotlight with her remarkable slopestyle run. On Marino’s first run, it was clear that the understandable nerves coming from a worldly spotlight got the best of her, as she faced an unexpected fall. Instead of allowing her jitters to overtake her, she instead used it as fuel in her next run, where she earned an impressive score of 87.68. This superb run landed Marino at the very top of the podium, until Zoe Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand perfectly executed her run, in order to overtake Marino’s spot with a score of 92.88.
As Marino watched Sadowski-Synnott perform a flawless slopestyle, she could have easily hung her head in disappointment for her potential gold medal being overtaken. Marino’s sportsmanship and pure love for the sport rose above all else, as she sprinted over to Sadowski-Synnott with pure excitement for her outrageously impressive gold-medal performance. This moment of joy and enthusiasm for her other competitors truly shined light on a moment of what the Olympics is all about – simply being grateful for having the opportunity to be there and admire the insanely talented athletes there as well.
February 5th was a monumental day for Marino. Not only was it Marino’s first ever Olympic medal, but just the day prior, Marino placed 28th in the qualifying rounds after tumbling quite a few times. The ability to jump from 28th place in the world to second place is not easy feat, especially when the world has its eyes on USA teammate and defending gold-medalist Jamie Anderson. Unfortunately for Anderson, February 5th did not amount to what she hoped it would be, as she was not able to distinguish herself at the top of the competition. Anderson scored ninth place with her highest score of 60.78 on her second run.
The 2022 Beijing Olympics is only Marino’s second appearance in the Olympic games, and the 24-year-old has already made herself known as one of the top snowboarders in the world. In Marino’s first Olympic appearance in 2018, she placed 11th in the world in slopestyle and 10th in big air. Catch Marino and the U.S. women’s slopestyle snowboard team back in action on Monday, February 14th as they will compete in the Big Air competition. Perhaps Jamie Anderson will seek redemption and reassert her dominance on the slopes, while Julia Marino has the chance to make an even bigger name for herself.
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