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Freestyle skiing at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games

Freestyle skiing at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games Photo: USA Today.

December 14, 2016 10:28 PM

Freestyle skiing at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games will be contested from Feb. 9-23, with medals awarded in ten different events.

Sochi in review

With new events, podium sweeps and tough course conditions, Sochi's freestyle skiing competition lived up to the name of its venue, the Extreme Park. 

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Slopestyle
Making its Olympic debut in Sochi, the freeski slopestyle event delivered a history-making podium sweep in the men's final. For only the third time in Winter Olympic history, U.S. athletes won gold, silver and bronze in one event: Joss Christensen took the top spot, followed by Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper. 

Canada almost had a sweep of their own on the women's side, with Canada's Dara Howell and Kim Lamarre finishing first and third, respectively. But warmer weather and soft, slushy course conditions at the Extreme Park led to several wipeouts, injuries and errors, including a stumble from the U.S.' Devin Logan in her second run of the final. Luckily, she had performed safely and cleanly in the first run and was able to claim silver. 

Halfpipe
The second freeskiing event to be added to the Olympic program in Sochi saw two Americans, David Wise and Maddie Bowman, become champions in the halfpipe.

The most celebrated halfpipe freeskier, however, was one absent from Sochi's competition. Canada's Sarah Burke was a pioneer for her sport who successfully lobbied for freeski halfpipe to be added to the Olympic program. She tragically died in 2012 after suffering an injury in training. To honor her memory, the volunteer sweepers paid tribute to Burke by skiing down the pipe in a heart formation. Her former coach also brought her ashes to Sochi to spread in several places, including the Olympic halfpipe.

Moguls
Both the 2010 Olympic champions, the U.S.' Hannah Kearney and Canada's Alex Bilodeau, were favorites to defend their titles. Bilodeau succeeded, becoming the first freestyle skier to win two gold medals.

Kearney, however, wobbled during her final run and was outscored by two Canadian sisters, Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe. After earning the bronze medal, Kearney announced her retirement.

Aerials
Skiers from Belarus took two golds in Sochi, with Anton Kushnir placing first in the men's event and Alla Tsuper winning the women's event. It was Tsuper's fifth Olympic appearance and first medal. The 34-year-old is the oldest female freestyle skier to win Olympic gold. 

Ski Cross
Three French skiers helped their country to a historic medal tally in Sochi when they swept the men's ski cross podium. Jean Frederic Chapuis, Arnaud Bovolenta and Jonathan Midol finished 1-2-3, but not without controversy. Canadian and Slovenian officials alleged that the three had worn aerodynamic suits that gave them an illegal advantage in the final, and should be disqualified. The Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed the protest, and the French skiers kept their medals. France won 15 total Olympic medals in Sochi, their highest tally at a Winter Games.

In the women's ski cross, Canada picked up two more medals with Marielle Thompson taking gold and Kelsey Serwa silver. It was the fourth time in Sochi that two Canadian freestyle skiers shared the podium. 

Competition format

Freestyle skiers will compete across the following ten events, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to the top three finishersrespectively, in each event:

  • Men's aerials
  • Men's moguls
  • Men's slopestyle
  • Men's halfpipe
  • Men's ski cross
  • Women's aerials
  • Women's moguls
  • Women's slopestyle
  • Women's halfpipe
  • Women's ski cross

Venue

Freestyle skiing events will be held at the Bokwang Snow Park, located within the PyeongChang Mountain Cluster, during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The Olympic snowboarding events will also be held at Bokwang.

Athletes to watch

Men's moguls
 Matt Graham, Australia
 Mikael Kingsbury, Canada
 Benjamin Cavet, France
 Alexandr Smyshlyaev, Russia
 Bradley Wilson, United States

Men's aerials
 David Morris, Australia
 Anton Kushnir, Belarus
 Qi Guangpu, China
 Petr Medulich, Russia
 Christopher Lillis, United States
 Jonathon Lillis, United States

Men's ski cross
 Christopher Delbosco, Canada
 Jean Frederic Chapuis, France
 Arnaud Bovolenta, France
 Jonathan Midol, France

Men's halfpipe
 Aaron Blunck, United States
 Alex Ferreira, United States
 Gus Kenworthy, United States
 Mike Riddle, Canada
 Kevin Rolland, France
 David Wise, United States
 Torin Yater-Wallace, United States

Men's slopestyle
 Fabian Boesch, Switzerland
 Oystein Braaten, Norway
 Joss Christensen, United States
 Nick Goepper, United States
 Gus Kenworthy, United States
 Andri Ragettli, Switzerland
 McRae Williams, United States

Women's moguls
 Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, Canada
 Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Canada
 Perrine Laffont, France
 Mikaela Matthews, United States
 Morgan Schild, United States

Women's aerials
 Danielle Scott, Australia
 Xin Zhang, China
 Ashley Caldwell, United States

Women's ski cross
 Kelsey Serwa, Canada
 Marielle Thompson, Canada

Women's halfpipe
 Maddie Bowman, United States
 Annalisa Drew, United States
 Devin Logan, United States
 Marie Martinod, France
 Cassie Sharpe, Canada
 Ayana Onozuka, Japan

 

Women's slopestyle
 Dara Howell, Canada
 Tess Ledeux, France
 Devin Logan, United States
 Kelly Sildaru, Estonia
 Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen, Norway
 Giulia Tanno, Switzerland
 Maggie Voisin, United States

Original Source

Credits

NBC Olympics

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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