Friday’s race on a sunny afternoon at Phoenix Snow Park felt far removed from 12 years ago, except that the memory of that slip-up in Turin has followed Jacobellis throughout her career. It spikes every four years at the Olympics, where she is rarely celebrated for her consistency atop the sport, for her world championships, World Cup and X Games victories, as much as remembered for one unforced error as a 20-year-old.
She has a “very strong love-hate relationship” with the Olympics, she said last fall.
In 2006, Jacobellis had a big lead in the final and, on the second-to-last jump, added a stylish flourish that pulled her off balance before she crashed into the snow. A competitor raced past before Jacobellis recovered for second place.
Before Pyeongchang, at the nudge of the U.S. snowboarding coach Peter Foley, Jacobellis worked with a New York-based mental coach named Denise Shull for about the past 18 months. Shull, with a background…