Comox snowbaorder Carle Brenneman competed in the women’s snowboard cross competition at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang Korea, Friday. Photo submitted.

B.C. snowboarder recounts Olympic experience

Carle Brenneman of Comox competed in the women’s snowboard cross Friday in Pyeongchang

Comox snowboarder Carle Brenneman’s Olympic dream became a reality, Friday in Pyeongchang, Korea, as she competed for Canada in the women’s snowboard cross competition.

While, ideally, her day would have lasted two more runs – she was eliminated in the quarter-finals – the end result did little to dull the sheen of what has been a lifelong goal.

“Making it to the Olympics is something I have dreamed of as a kid – it’s definitely a huge accomplishment to be here,” said Brenneman in a post-race interview with the Comox Valley Record. “Winning a medal is what I came here for so that would be the actual dream come true. I’m proud of the work I put in and I did everything I could to make that possible. Unfortunately it wasn’t my day and I am still proud of what I’ve accomplished.”

Her parents shared in the excitement, as they travelled to Korea to cheer on their Olympian daughter. They were at the finish line for the competition, and Carle’s mom, Lori, said it was both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience.

“As parents we were very nervous for Carle. The course was extremely tough and up until the day of the race wind has been a huge factor,” she told The Record. “There were a number of athletes that were injured during practice and qualifying rounds. I had the opportunity to talk to quite a few mothers of snowboard cross athletes, both men’s and women’s, and with this course our strongest hope, as mothers, was for them to finish unscathed.”

A teammate of Carle’s – Meryeta O’Dine, of Prince George – was one of the aforementioned casualties. She crashed in training and a resulting concussion forced her to bow out of the competition.

Friday’s comp (Thursday evening in Canada) started with qualifying runs, to seed competitors. With only 24 competitors suiting up on race day, a spot in the quarters was assured, as long as a posted time was achieved.

“Time trails break down the heats and give you gate choice,” said Brenneman. “On the Olympic course it wasn’t make or break for lane choice so I wasn’t too worried.”

Brenneman completed her first run in 1:21.57, tied for 16th, with teammate Zoe Bergermann, of North Vancouver.

Tess Critchlow of Kelowna was 15th overall.

A top-12 finish in Round 1 of qualifying would have advanced them directly to the quarter-finals. Instead, Brenneman and her teammates all had to go through the second round of qualifying.

Brenneman posted a time of 1:20.89 in Round 2, despite not feeling comfortable with her run.

“The second run was probably my worst run of my whole day,” said Brenneman. “I think I almost fell about five times. I almost gave up a few times but all those mistakes still made for a faster time then my first. It definitely gives you confidence when you get a good and fast run put in before finals.”

Critchlow and Bergermann also improved their times, and ended up slotted in the same quarter-final heat QF2).

Brenneman was in the fourth quarter-final heat. She pinpointed her demise in the quarter-final to a specific part of the course.

“It was the five-roller jump between corner 1 and 2,” she said. “I ended up coming a little short on the top two that I was doubling. It killed my speed and I knew I’d have to fight to make it back. I tried to pass again in corner 2 and 5 but I unfortunately was not able to get a clean pass with a girl falling into my line in both corners.”

She placed fourth in the heat, just 0.40 seconds behind Belle Brockhoff, of Australia. The top three finishers in each quarter-final moved on to the semis.

Critchlow advanced to the semifinals. She finished fourth in her semifinal heat, to advance to the consolation, or “small final,” where she placed third.

Their final Olympic rankings were Critchlow, ninth; Brenneman, 14th; Bergermann (who had a DNF in her quarter-final), 23rd.

Lori said that while her daughter was disappointed with her early exit, that’s a feeling exclusive to the athletes.

“Of course for the athletes themselves nothing but a podium was good enough. The fortitude and strength of these athletes is undeniable. Carle is disappointed that she didn’t achieve that podium placement for both herself as well as her many supporters. Our heart goes out to a Carle. For us as parents, we couldn’t be prouder.”

Now that the competitive portion of her Olympic journey has concluded, Carle and her teammates can share the rest of the experience, with their respective families.

“We have been so focused on training and preparing for our event they we haven’t been able to really do anything yet,” said Carle. “So now we are going to watch as many events as possible soak in the whole Olympic experience and cheer on Canada.”

Carle Brenneman will be 32 by the time the 2022 Winter Olympics take place in Beijing, China. Will she be back?

“Yeah I mean if I’m still enjoying it and my body can still handle it, then I’m all in,” she said.

Just Posted

Oregon couple’s stolen truck located at Deep Creek, boat still missing

Jim and Kathy Jantz are thankful for the help they have received so far in Williams Lake

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

U.S. couple ‘devastated’ truck and boat stolen in Williams Lake overnight

Family from Oregon appealing for assistance to help find stolen items

Police name second suspect, lay kidnapping and attempted murder charges in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incidents

Drynock is considered dangerous, do not approach him and call the local RCMP detachment immediately

Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidates react to finding Trudeau broke ethics law

The election campaign is heating up before the writ has even dropped

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Province funds new shuttle buses for 13 B.C. senior centres

Activity, socializing helps maintain health, Adrian Dix says

Most Read