Snowboardcross Olympic Bronze Medalist Deibold Announces Retirement
2014 Olympic bronze medalist Alex Deibold has announced his retirement from competitive snowboardcross.
A native Vermonter, 36-year-old Deibold has been snowboarding since the age of four. He attended Stratton Mountain School with fellow teammate Lindsey Jacobellis, and U.S. Snowboard Team halfpipe alums Danny Davis and Louie Vito.
Deibold was first named to the U.S. Snowboard Team in 2004. He made his first FIS World Cup appearance in Furano, Japan in 2007, and spent the last 17 years competing at the highest levels. Along the way, Deibold found himself on the World Cup podium six times, and represented the United States five times at the World Championships.
His most memorable result came in 2014, at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. After missing the cut for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Team, Deibold still found a way to be a part of the action, joining the team staff as a wax technician. Just four years later, he’d move from the wax room to the start gate, bringing home Team USA’s lone snowboardcross medal in Sochi. He battled it out and walked away with bronze. Reflecting on his experience of going from technician to Olympic medalist, Deibold told Team USA’s Lawrence Murray, “it was grueling work but it was a situation that I’m grateful for. I remembered what it was like to be there, and to stand on the podium…and wrap the flag around myself, all that sacrifice and hard work were more than worth it.”
He had a strong 2021-22 season, ultimately earning a spot on the 2022 Beijing Olympic Team. However, his plans were derailed when he suffered a major crash at the Cortina d’Ampezzo World Cup just five days before the Opening Ceremonies, leaving him in the hospital with a head injury and ultimately unable to join his teammates in Beijing. His teammates felt his absence sharply, and vowed to compete in his honor. Jake Vedder, who traveled to Beijing in Deibold’s place, said at the time, “I’m really trying to represent Alex and his whole family and do the best I can for him. Because this was 100% his spot. He deserved to be here.”
Outside of the start gate, Deibold has always been known for his passion for the environment and the outdoors, his work ethic and his leadership. He has served on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Board of Directors as an athlete representative since 2021 and was an Athlete Role Model at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games. “Alex has had an incredible career, both on and off the hill,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. “His leadership and advocacy for athletes, his teammates and all those involved in the sport is something we will always be grateful for, and all of us at U.S. Ski & Snowboard wish him the best on his well-earned retirement. Congratulations on such an incredible career, Alex!”
His teammates will miss his advice and friendship, both on and off the race course. “Deibold was always a teammate that I knew I could talk to about anything. For myself as a younger athlete coming up, he always brought comfort to our team as one of the more experienced athletes,” said U.S. Snowboard Team athlete Senna Leith. “Whether I was wondering about a line choice on a course, or a career-based question outside of snowboarding, Deibold always had a plethora of knowledge he was willing to share and do so in an extremely friendly manner. It’s hard to find an athlete more professional and well rounded, and I am super thankful for all of the years and great memories on tour that we shared together.”
But don’t expect Deibold to take it easy in retirement. He’s chasing new adventures with Protect Our Winters, a non-profit focusing on legislation regarding climate change and looking forward to spending time on the mountain as a mentor to young snowboarders, and as a father.
“I’m both excited and terrified for the next chapter. I want to explore the mountains at home more, in a way I haven’t been able to while traveling, training, and competing,” said Deibold. “I still love snowboarding as much as ever, and I’m hoping I can try and give back to the community that has shaped my life. I’m grateful to be working for Protect Our Winters, hoping I can support some of our development riders domestically, and stoked to just be a dad and continue to introduce my daughter to the mountains.”