It's Jasey-Jay's day at rainy Cypress Mountain
Canadian Jasey-Jay Anderson put the exclamation point on his incredible resume Saturday, winning Olympic gold to slap some sunshine on an otherwise miserable day for snowboarding.
The 34-year-old from Quebec, a seven-time World Cup champion, carved through the rain-sluiced, fogged-in course at Cypress Mountain to make up a .76-second deficit over Benjamin Karl of Austria, the top-ranked rider in the world.
``Shock,'' Anderson said when asked how he felt. ``That's it.''
He won the 12th gold medal of the Vancouver Games for Canada, which put the host in good position to win the gold-medal standings with only one day left.
And he won his first Olympic medal in four tries, adding it to his four world championship golds and a career that has done more than anyone's to spread the word of snowboarding across his wintry country.
This day didn't exactly feel like winter, though.
It was a day of sloppy, slushy snow and nearly blind racing conditions. At times, the fog was so thick, riders couldn't see two gates in front of them. At others, the rain laid down on their goggles to make the rut-filled trip down the course that much more treacherous.
``In these conditions, it's virtually impossible,'' Anderson said. ``Challenges like today, where you're swimming all day, you can't see anything, you just have to rise above that and do the best you can. I tried to dig in deep and see what was there.''
Bronze medalist Mathieu Bozzetto of France called the conditions ``ugly,'' and American Tyler Jewell said if this had been a World Cup event, ``they probably would have canceled it.''
``But this is the Olympics,'' Jewell said.
Hardly Olympic conditions, though.
It was the second straight day that snowboarding's least-popular discipline endured a black eye, held in soaking conditions that sent rider after rider falling. All four of Saturday's quarterfinals, including one involving American Chris Klug, were decided after one of the two riders skidded off course.
``I feel like I'm going salmon fishing more than snowboarding out here,'' Klug said. ``I feel like I'm going on a surf trip, it's so wet.''
Klug, who won bronze in 2002 - 18 months after a lifesaving liver transplant - briefly looked like he might fashion yet another amazing Olympic moment. Qualifying last of the 16 who make the heats, he knocked off top-seeded Andreas Prommegger in the first round and had a .6-second lead on Bozzetto after the first of their two races.
But Klug, like so many on this day, skidded out and couldn't endure. He ended up seventh.