Call Nick Baumgartner the 40-year-old snowboarder.
Baumgartner is headed to the Winter Games as the oldest American snowboarder in Olympic history, clinching his spot on Saturday. Sondra van Ert, who competed in the 2002 Olympic parallel giant slalom, was the previous oldest at 37, according to Olympedia.org.
Baumgartner is likely to be the oldest U.S. Olympian across all sports in Beijing.
Baumgartner recorded his best Olympic finish of fourth in his third Games in 2018 in PyeongChang, where his 13-year-old son, Landon, watched him race. Baumgartner could have a teammate on the U.S. Olympic snowboard team who is younger than Landon.
Baumgartner is the highest-ranked American man at fifth in the World Cup standings. Everybody is looking up at Austrian Alessandro Hämmerle, the World Cup season champion every year of this Olympic cycle.
France’s Pierre Vaultier, who won the last two Olympic titles, announced his retirement in December 2020 following knee problems that sidelined him for nearly two years.
Baumgartner will likely be joined on the U.S. Olympic snowboard cross team by Hagen Kearney, who was 13th in PyeongChang, and two more men.
On the women’s side, Faye Gulini became the first U.S. snowboard cross rider to clinch an Olympic spot earlier this week.
Lindsey Jacobellis, bidding for her fifth Olympics, made her first podium of the season on Saturday (third place) and is set to clinch her spot after Sunday’s World Cup race in Russia.
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