Queralt Castellet has done it again, this time fulfilling her dream after winning the long-awaited Olympic silver medal at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, after many years of hard work, perseverance, passion and unceasing dedication.
Queralt Castellet wins the first Spanish silver at the Olympic Winter Games
Just 24 hours after a great fourth place that qualified her for the Olympic final, the magician from Sabadell did her magic again and got the long-awaited Olympic metal. The RFEDI-Spainsnow rider Queralt Castellet arrived at the final with her batteries recharged and wings on, flying high towards the silver medal. But it is not only her first Olympic silver medal, it is also the first silver medal in the Spanish history of the Olympic Winter Games.
It already looked like the Secret Garden Olympic Halfpipe was looking good for her, although none of us could have imagined the thrilling finish. In fact, the Sabadell snowboarder declared the days before the final:
“They’ve worked a lot to get the pipe in really good condition. I’ve been training these three days and I like it, I feel good”.
And boy, did she feel good, as it was in this pipe that she finally achieved her dream and became an Olympic medallist. After Turin, Vancouver, Sochi, PyeongChang and Beijing, it was at her fifth Olympic Games that the snowboarder won the metal. Moreover, this can be called a fortuitous coincidence, as it was her fifth Games that brought Spain its fifth Olympic medal at the Winter Olympics. In addition, Queralt Castellet also won silver 30 years after the first Spanish women’s medal, that of the unforgettable Blanca Fernández Ochoa in 1992.
The thrilling women’s halfpipe final
The competition at the Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou started on a sunny Thursday, a three-round final where the best score of the three entered the bid for the metals. After a first round in which the American Chloe Kim already secured the gold with 94.00 points and in which Queralt scored low with 69.25 points, the magician from Sabadell came out with her batteries recharged and ready to make history in the second round.
“After that first round, I felt all the nerves, all the presure, all the thoughts of how important this is for me and, nevertheless, I also felt a streght that I don’t know where I got from to get through this round”.
Although it looked like Japan’s Sena Tomita had secured silver with 86.00 points, Queralt pulled a number of tricks out of the bag – Switch Bs 5 Mute, Cab 7 Melon, Fs Air Indie grab, Bs 9 Mute and Fs 9 Melon – and managed to reach a height of four metres. As a reward, the judges awarded her 90.25 points that positioned her in second place after a season in which Queralt Castellet has not once stepped off the podium.
“The second Position behind Chloe, who is an incredible rider and athlete, is a great honour and something I am very proud of”.
It is also worth mentioning that the rider has made it through this competition without her team, as her coach could not travel to China at the last minute due to a positive result in Covid and her physiotherapist could not travel either due to last minute personal issues. Despite this, Queralt Castellet has nailed her three rounds —getting a score of 78.25 in the last of the three—, while some of her great rivals like the “untouchable” Chloe Kim have had several falls.
Queralt Castellet’s sporting career
Queralt Castellet has had an impeccable sporting career until she achieved the longed-for Olympic silver medal. She made her debut at the age of sixteen in her first Olympic Games in Turin, after which she has always improved her results in all her participations. Along the way, she has collected a total of 17 halfpipe FIS World Cup podiums (six of them gold), two halfpipe FIS World Championships (silver in Kreischberg 2015 and bronze in Aspen 2021), gold in the X Games and a long list of other medals that make up her infinite list of prizes.
“After five games, a lifetime, a whole career dedicated to snowbarding, dedicated to a dream, to an olympic medal. Since Turin, that’s when I started dreaming, when I saw the girls on the podium and I said, I want to be there”.
Queralt Castellet, at the age of 32, has finished each season surpassing herself, achieving her dream and winning an Olympic medal. In addition, it is worth mentioning the great preparatory work she does, thanks to which she has managed to get here without injuries. Now, the rider feels good, happy, and hopes to continue enjoying many more years on the board after having made history in these Olympic Games in Beijing 2022.
“I think it’s a dream come true, I think it’s something that means a lot and that shows that everything you want, you can do it and that everything good costs effort and this is something that these games have taught me. But still, it can be achieved and everything is possible”.
Beijing 2022 Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe Final Results
- Chloe Kim (USA) 94,00 points
- Queralt Castellet (ESP) 90,25 points
- Sena Tomita (JAP) 88,25 points
- Xuetong Cai (CHN) 81,25 points
- Ruki Tomita (JAP) 80,50 points
- Elizabeth Hosking (CAN) 79,25 points
- Berenice Wicki (SUI) 76,25 points
- Jiayu Liu (CHN) 73,50 points
- Mitsuki Ono (JAP) 71,50 points
- Brooke Dhondt (CAN) 66,75 points
- Leilani Ettel (GER) 57,50 points
- Leng Qiu (CHN) 53,75 points