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

WATCH: Kan Yon restaurant break-in caught on camera

Owner Kevin Kwong said the break-in will not stop him from doing business

Letter: With Greyhound cuts, cancer care still available for rural residents

Editor, In light of the Greyhound bus lines reducing service in British… Continue reading

Savage West rock at a hoedown for a cause in Hope

Owners of Broke Buckle Clothing Co. held the event to benefit the Heart and Stroke Foundation

Rolling Pin celebrates being crowned sweetest bakery in Western Canada

Fans of the bakery voted online and in person in the Dawn Foods contest this summer

A tiny shop with a big heart for the Hope hospital

The gift shop at the Fraser Canyon Hospital is bursting at the seams with new products

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

VIDEO: Giants head into holidays with a win at home

Vancouver G-Men don’t play next until Dec. 28, after 2-1 victory over Prince George Sunday.

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

VIDEO: Giants fall to Royals 4-2 in Victoria Saturday night

Second loss in as many days for G-Men, who are back home in Langley today to take on the Cougars.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

Most Read