Evan Strong’s attempt to defend his 2014 Paralympic gold in snowboard cross came up short as the Nevada City resident finished just shy of reaching the podium in South Korea, Monday.
Strong was among the final four competitors in the snowboard cross (LL-2) finals, but a head-to-head loss to eventual gold medalist Matti Suur-Hamari from Finland followed by a loss to bronze medalist Gurimu Narita from Japan left him in fourth place overall. Team USA’s Keith Gabel earned silver.
The 31-year-old Strong posted strong times in qualifying and outraced China’s Sun Qi to advance to the quarterfinals. He then beat Team USA teammate Mike Shea in the quarterfinals to advance to the medal round.
Strong won the snowboard cross event at the 2014 Paralympics in Russia when he headlined an All-USA podium, which included Shea (silver) and Gabel (bronze).
Strong lost his left leg a few inches below the knee at the age of 17 when he was struck by an SUV while riding a motorcycle in Hawaii.