Josie Baff with her gold medal.
Snowboarder Josie Baff has made history as Australia’s first ever Winter Youth Olympic Games Champion, winning gold in the Snowboard Cross at Lausanne 2020.
The 16-year-old from Jindabyne claimed gold in a dramatic final, edging out silver medal winner Margaux Herpin of France by just 0.05 seconds, with local Swiss favourite Anouk Doerig in third.
Baff’s historic win is Australia’s first Winter Youth Olympic gold medal, and Australia’s seventh individual Winter YOG medal (three silver, three bronze from Innsbruck 2012 and Lillehammer 2016). The young rider was consistently at the top of the pack, winning four of her five heats in the round robin format and topping her eight-person semi-final before winning gold in the final.
Baff said she was “stoked” to win the gold, especially with the challenging round robin format that pushed the riders to their limits.
“I can’t believe it, it’s very overwhelming, very surreal,” Baff said after her win.
“In the final I had everyone come up behind me in the home straight and at the end I didn’t even know I had won until I looked back at the board, and then I burst into tears.
“I was getting really tired because pumping through five heats is really hard, it’s way more races than I’ve ever done at an event. But the round robin format with the point system really separates and rewards the good, consistent riders, because it’s unlikely you’ll get lucky five times.”
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