Lindsey Jacobellis won the snowboard cross Olympic gold at the fifth time of asking ©Getty Images

Lindsey Jacobellis won the Olympic gold medal in women's snowboard cross on her fifth attempt, the zenith of an Olympic journey which began with an infamous fall costing her the title at Turin 2006.

The 36-year-old made no mistake today, leading from the start in the final at the Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou.

Jacobellis held off the dangerous Chloé Trespeuch of France for the Olympic gold medal - the United Sates' first of Beijing 2022 - with Canadian Meryeta O'Dine claiming the bronze in front of Belle Brockhoff of Australia.

The medal is Jacobellis' second at the Olympics, following silver at Turin 2006.

Jacobellis infamously lost the gold medal in Italy when celebrating over the penultimate jump with a method grab, falling upon landing and losing her massive lead to Switzerland's Tanja Frieden.

At Vancouver 2010, Jacobellis was disqualified in the semi-finals when she went around a gate to avoid a collision with another athlete, and at Sochi 2014 she crashed at the same stage.

Jacobellis finished fourth at Pyeongchang 2018, missing the podium by 0.03 seconds.

"This feels incredible because this level that all the women are riding at is a lot higher than it was 16 years ago," Jacobellis said.

"Maybe I'll blink again and I'll be back the next Olympics, but I want to say that I'm really excited with how things are happening right now so I'm going to try to live in this moment a little bit longer."

Olympic victory came three years to the day since Jacobellis' last win on the world stage, at a Snowboard Cross World Cup leg in Feldberg.

Jacobellis is also a five-time individual world champion.

She was an unlikely victor after the two favourites - Michela Moioli of Italy and Britain's Charlotte Bankes - failed to make the final.

Defending champion Moioli finished behind Jacobellis and Trespeuch in the first of two semi-finals, and in front of American Stacy Gaskill.

O'Dine and Brockhoff qualified from the second heat in front of Tess Critchlow of Canada and France's Julia Pereira de Sousa Mabileau, who did not finish.

Brockhoff and Critchlow progressed from their quarter-final in front of Bankes, who called the elimination "the worst race of my life".