A gnarly crash during Arielle Gold's halfpipe practice run Wednesday ended the U.S. snowboarder's dream of a gold medal after she separated her shoulder and was forced to pull out of the qualifying rounds.
A U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association spokesman confirmed Gold's withdrawal Wednesday. Gold, 17, and her brother Taylor, 20, both made the women's and men's halfpipe teams, according to the USA Today.
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Gold crashed badly during her halfpipe practice at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Gold became to third American Olympic competitor to be injured in practice to the point that they could not compete in the Sochi Games. Mogul skier Heidi Kloser and slopestyle skier Maggie Voisin also could not compete due to injuries, according to the Denver Post.
"She insisted on coming back to the pipe to support her teammates as soon as they popped her shoulder back in," Ken Gold, her father, told the Post. Taylor Gold fell at the same venue Tuesday and failed to reach the men's halfpipe finals.
Gold's teammates Kaitlyn Farrington and Kelly Clark captured the gold and bronze medals, respectively, in the halfpipe, according to Yahoo Sports.
Australia's Torah Bright won silver.
"I think watching the three [former] gold medalists come down after me was a crazy feeling," Farrington told reporters after her big win. "I was happy they all landed their runs because that's what I wanted to do. But I did not expect to come down on top."
Clark beat out 2006 Olympic halfpipe champion Hannah Teter on her last run for the bronze medal. She told Yahoo Sports she was as happy for Farrington as for herself.
"I'm so proud of Kaitlyn and so happy for her to come out and walk away a champion," Clark said. "She loves snowboarding more than most people and it's refreshing to see someone who does it for the fun of it to walk away with a medal."
Gold was considered a medal contender after becoming the second youngest rider to win the FIS World Snowboarding Championships and a bronze at her first X Games last year. Gold won medals on six of the 11 events she participated in.
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