NBC Connecticut's Gabrielle Lucivero was just 14 years old when she watched on TV as her big cousin experienced heartbreak in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino.
Her cousin, Lindsey Jacobellis, was leading the snowboard cross final event in Torino when she fell just yards from the finish line, losing out on a gold medal and taking the silver instead.
Jacobellis has competed in every Winter Olympics since, but medals have eluded her in those Games.
That changed Wednesday in Beijing when Jacobellis took the lead in the final women's snowboard cross run and never gave it up. She crossed the line in first, winning a gold medal 16 years after her heartbreak in Torino.
As fate would have it, Lucivero, now sports director for NBC Connecticut, had the assignment to travel to Beijing to cover the 2022 Winter Olympics. She was there to witness her cousin's gold-medal performance. It was an emotional moment for Lucivero, who has looked up to her older cousin for her entire life.
"She's my role model. She's done everything for me. She's the reason I am doing what I do," Lucivero said as she teared up during her live report Wednesday morning.
Her emotion was evident in a video that captured Lucivero in the media access area at the event as she watched Jacobellis cross the finish line.
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"I'm so proud of her," she said.
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