It’s no secret that Team USA has a stacked freestyle skiing and snowboarding team. At the last Olympics in Sochi in 2014, Americans pulled in 12 medals in freestyle skiing and snowboarding (including a complete podium sweep of the men’s freestyle skiing slopestyle event). This year, Team USA continues to dominate, with American snowboarders claiming men’s and women’s gold in the halfpipe and slopestyle events in PyeongChang (including the US’s first gold of the Games).
If you weren’t part of the collective scream unleashed by Americans all over the country (and world) when Shaun White stomped his gold medal run (in his final go at it) during last week’s competition, we’re sorry you missed what may very well be the last appearance of a legend at the Games. No stranger to the podium, when backed into a corner by Japan’s Ayuma Hirano, White delivered the performance of a lifetime, and put down a score of 97.75 to take home the win.
And White wasn’t the only one to take the top spot in halfpipe competition. Fellow Californian Chloe Kim soared to gold in her first Olympics (at 17, she’s been on the seen for a while, but was to young to participate in Sochi in 2014), putting down a solid run on her first attempt to take home gold, but still going big on her last run (and the final one of the competition) to walk away both with gold, and knowing that she threw down her toughest tricks to snag it.
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Trying to think of a caption is actually impossible but all I can say is thank you to everyone who's been there for me since the beginning. I am so grateful to be surrounded by people I love with all my heart and so thankful for my family and their never ending love and support. Glad I could bring home the Gold!! @gettysport
According to post competition interviews, 17-year-old Red Gerard slept in the day of his slopestyle finals competition, lost his jacket, borrowed a jacket from his roommate, and still somehow managed to put down a gold-winning run on his last pass through the Olympic slopestyle park, becoming the first athlete to take home top honors for the home team in the process. While we normally might advocate for better competition-day planning, we’re putting it out there that maybe Gerard should stick with his winning formula.
And then there’s Jamie Anderson, one of the winningest Winter X Games athletes of all time, the defending gold medalist in Sochi in the same event. Anderson fought through some serious wind to land her winning run, one of the few athletes able to get through the course without crashing because of the day’s conditions.
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I have so many emotions about yesterday, it’s been hard for me to put into words… Of course I wish the conditions were better and could have showcased the true level & progression of women’s snowboarding. We all know a big part of this sport is going with the flow, no matter what the course is like, no matter what the weather is like. I am so proud of all of us for going out there and giving it our all. That’s all we can do – is go out and give it our best. Above all, I am grateful. Winning a second gold medal is a dream come true. I am here surrounded by my friends, family and support team – extremely thankful for all of it. 🙏✨💙 #olympics #jafreespirit #grateful