Winter Olympics consolation finals – I don’t get it?

Snowboard Cross

Snowboard Cross

I love the Olympics, and I’m glued every evening to my TV set, watching bizarre sports on white backgrounds…

One of my favourite discoveries has been Snowboard Cross – a motorcross race done on snowboards, with people gliding through the air as often as on the snow, and full of thrills and spills.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about you may remember Lindsey Jacobellis, in 2006, miles in the lead and pulling an unnecessary trick at the last moment, falling and losing gold (watch the 2006 Olympic womens snowcross final video). The poor woman crashed out again this year; this time in the semi-finals.

What’s the point of consolation finals?

Now the most bizarre element of the whole sport to me is the fact that the four snowboarders who lose in the semi-final compete in a consolation final, also called the B final or small final.

I don’t really get it, there’s no medal! Admittedly it may have something to do with the ranking but the last thing I would want to do, having failed to qualify in the semis, is race again to see if I can come fifth overall.

Do other sports have that?

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