Winter is here, and we all know what that means: cozy nights by the fire, hot cocoa, and – depending on your location, of course – plenty of snowboarding and skiing.
Unfortunately, we won’t see the greatest athletes in those disciplines performing at the Winter Olympics, as 2024 is the year of the Summer Games, which take place in Paris in August. We will have to wait until 2026 for the next Winter Games and they will take place in Milan, Italy.Back in 1924, the first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France. Only 16 countries participated, and there were only six sports included: cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, nordic combined, ski jumping, and speed skating. Flash forward to today, and there are 15 sports included, with over 90 countries competing.
One of those newer sports is snowboarding and plenty of athletes have taken to the half-pipe in order to battle it out for the gold medal – attracting attention from audiences and gamblers all over the globe, and generating ever more excitement for those looking to bet on the outcomes.
Even online sites like Bodog have capitalized on its popularity, regularly providing odds on the biggest events at the games. Not everyone has been so lucky as to walk away with the coveted gold, but these four have. Here are the most decorated snowboarders in Winter Olympics history.
Shaun White – Three Golds
Shaun White is a bona fide superstar in the world of snowboarding. He won three Olympic gold medals in Turin in 2006, four years later in Vancouver, and then – after being stunned in Sochi in 2014 – once again in Pyeongchang in 2018. And that’s without mentioning his two X Games gold medals, and a slew of other awards.
The American star established his prowess at snowboarding in his debut in the games at just 19 years of age when he toppled Finland’s Markku Koski and Daniel Franck of Norway to capture the gold medal in the halfpipe event. But he wasn’t done there. The red-haired ripper won another gold in the same event with a score of 48.4 four years later, before delivering one of the greatest-ever sporting performances in South Korea in Pyeongchang 2018.
There, he returned with a vengeance and claimed his third gold with a near-perfect score of 97.75. Not bad for a guy with two pints of Hydrate & Recover and a round of mini-golf named after him.
Jamie Anderson – Two Golds and One Silver
Jamie Anderson is the undisputed queen of slopestyle. The California native earned her first gold medal at only 23 years old in the Sochi 2014 games, where she topped the standings in the women’s slopestyle event, impressing the judges with her technical proficiency. Four years later, she repeated the feat at the Pyeongchang 2018 Games, beating out the likes of Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand.
If that wasn’t enough, she also went home with a silver medal in the big air competition. She’s also racked up six X Games gold medals and a fourth-place finish on Dancing with the Stars. Girl’s got some serious moves both on the board and in the ballroom.
Lindsey Jacobellis – Two Golds and One SilverLindsey Jacobellis won her first gold medal at the Turin 2006 Games, wowing the crowd with her daring, high-flying tricks. But it was for her heartbreaking fall in Vancouver four years later that she might be remembered by some, with the shocking mistake resulting in her having a second straight gold medal snatched away.
In 2014 in Sochi, she ensured that blunder wouldn’t be the only thing that defined her as she completed the mother of all comebacks to finish on the top step of the podium once more, securing redemption in the process.
But her achievements go beyond the Olympics. She’s a 10-time X Games gold medalist and a seven-time World Champion in snowboard cross. Plus, she’s got a Bachelor’s degree in business management, which is impressive in its own right.
Vic Wild – Two Golds and One Bronze
Vic Wild may not be as famous as some of the other riders on this list, but he is no less talented or successful. Originally from the United States, he became a Russian citizen in 2011 after marrying Russian snowboarder Alena Zavarzina. After making the switch, he went on to win two gold medals in the parallel giant slalom and parallel slalom events in the Sochi 2014 games – technically on his adopted home turf.
He did his utmost to make it three straight crowns in South Korea four years later, but he couldn’t join the three gold medal club, leaving the aforementioned White as its only member ahead of the 2026 games.
Wild’s tactical prowess and split-second decision-making make him one of the most formidable riders in the world. Aside from his Olympic achievements, Vic also has nine World Cup victories to his name and was named Male Rider of the Year by the International Ski Federation in 2013. Plus, if you’re into beards, you can’t deny that he’s got one of the best in the game.
Kelly Clark – One Gold and Two Bronzes
Kelly Clark is one of the most influential and successful female snowboarders of all time. She made her Olympic debut in 2002, where she won the gold medal in the women’s halfpipe, becoming the first American to do so. She followed that up with two bronze medals in the same event in 2010 and 2014, making her the only female snowboarder to win three Olympic medals.
She has also been vocal about her Christian faith and how it has shaped her career and life. Clark retired from competitive snowboarding in 2019, after competing in her fifth and final Olympics in Pyeongchang, where she finished fourth. She is widely regarded as a legend and a pioneer in the sport.
The Bottom Line
Snowboarding is one of the most exciting and popular sports in the Winter Olympics, and these athletes have proven themselves to be the best of the best. They have not only won medals, but also inspired millions of fans and future riders with their passion, talent, and perseverance.