The Spanish snowboarder Queralt Castellet won the first medal for the Spanish delegation at the Beijing Winter Olympics on Thursday.
Castellet claimed a well deserved silver medal in the women's halfpipe, which was dominated by snowboarder Chloe Kim, who has continued her winning streak to secure back-to-back Olympic golds.
⌚️ El reloj marcaba las 03.44h de la madrugada en España cuando pasaba esto... ⬇️📽️
👏🏼 HISTORIA del DEPORTE ESPAÑOL. ❤️🇪🇸
🥈 @q_castellet, medallista olímpica 🥈#ElCorazónDeEspaña pic.twitter.com/i3UJddNQqg— Comité Olímpico Español (@COE_es) February 10, 2022
Kim beat the Spanish athlete by almost 4 points. The American scored 94 on her first run, blurting out "oh my God" as she came into the finish.
"I was so proud of myself. I had the worst practice, ever. I probably landed my run twice when I’m used to landing it eight times, normally, and so that puts you in a weird headspace," Kim said when the competition ended.
The oldest competitor in the final, Castellet was the only other rider to hit the 90s, with a best run of 90.25.
Culmination of long sports career
This is the fifth medal won by a Spanish athlete in the Winter Olympics and the culmination of a long career. The 32-year-old finally managed to collect an Olympic medal at her fifth attempt.
"My first Olympics I was 16 years old. I was far away from even thinking that the podium was a possibility," Castellet said.
"I did set up a dream and my dream was to be up there... Very happy it happened today, 16 years after."
Japan's Sena Tomita took bronze with 88.25.
Two-time halfpipe world champion Cai Xuetong of China was fourth. Pyeongchang 2018 silver medallist Liu Jiayu fell in both her first runs and could only manage eighth with 73.50.