Monday, April 21, 2014

A glance back at Sochi 2014 Freestyle Skiing Events


Freestyle skiing enjoyed its most varied and vibrant Winter Games yet at Sochi 2014, with two new events added to the menu, as both men and women were given the chance to throw down their best moves in slopestyle and halfpipe at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
However, the freestyle programme kicked off with an established favourite, the moguls, where the women’s competition produced an emotional family one-two for Canadian sisters Justine and Chloé Dufour-Lapointe. In the men’s event, there was further joy for Canada and headed another podium.


Justine Dufour-Lapointe claimed Canada's first gold medal of the Sochi Olympic Winter Games with her sister Chloe winning silver on 8th Febuary at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Defending champion and big medal favourite Hannah Kearney of the United States skied to third position after a mistake in the upper section of the course.


Alex Bilodeau retained his men's moguls title at the Sochi Winter Olympics Monday with a stunning score of 26.31 as Canada continued to dominate the discipline. Bilodeau’s story was one of the greatest of the Vancouver Games, putting down as he did the run of his life to win the first gold for a Canadian winter Games athlete on home soil.
Just as they had done in the women's moguls, Canada also took silver through Mikael Kingsbury, with a score of 24.71.
Alexandr Smyshlyaev (24.34) took third place and prevented a Canadian clean sweep by pipping Marc-Antoine Gagnon (23.35) for bronze.

The debut events were dominated by American men and women. First Dara Howell and Joss Christensen took men’s and women’s gold in the slopestyle, and then Maddy Brown and David Wise repeated the trick in the halfpipe.


Canada’s Dara Howell claimed gold in the debut of ski slopestyle at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games scoring 94.20. Devin Logan of the United States earned silver with a first-run score of 85.40 that was strong enough to hold up through the rest of the competition. In third place was Howell’s teammate Kim Lammare who scored 85.00 with a focused second run.


Freestyle Skiing's inaugural Olympic men's slopestyle event produced a clean sweep for the United States. Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper took gold, silver and bronze. It was the first time since men’s Snowboard in 2002 that the United States swept the podium.


American Maddie Bowman claimed the first ever gold medal in ladies' ski halfpipe on Thursday evening at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park by posting the two best scores of the night (85.80 and 89.00). France's Marie Martinod whose aggressive second run earned her a high score of 85.40.took silver, and Japan's Ayana Onozuka took bronze with consistent amplitude and smooth style (83.20).


David Wise of the United States took gold in the newly added ski halfpipe event and made history by becoming its first Olympic Champion.
His first run, which included both right and left-side double corked 1260 spins, earned him a score of 92.00 that proved to be enough to hold off all challengers and give him the triple crown of World Championship, X Games, and Olympic Winter Games titles.
Mike Riddle of Canada threw down a near-flawless second run with a slightly lower degree of difficulty to earn a score of 90.60 and the silver, while Frenchman Kevin Rolland executed a solid first run to score of 88.60 and the bronze.


However, competitors from the ‘Old World’ showed they too know a thing or two about freestyle, as the French pulled off an unprecedented sweep of the podium in the men’s ski cross, headed up by Jean-Frédéric Chapuis. In the women’s event, there was another 1-2 for Canada, as Marielle Thompson and Kelsey Serwa occupied the top two ranks on the podium.


Jean Frederic Chapuis (FRA), Arnaud Bovolenta (FRA) and Jonathan Midol (FRA) have secured the first clean sweep for France at Olympic Winter Games by finishing first, second and third in the men's ski cross event staged at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park today.
The three skiers thus produced the sixth medal sweep at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games and thus set a new record number of sweeps at a single Winter Games.


Marielle Thompson (CAN) has won the last event of the freestyle skiers at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Sochi. The 21-year-old from North Vancouver thus followed up her team mate Ashleigh McIvor who had earned the title in 2010.
As Kelsey Serwa (CAN) raced to Silver in the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, Team Canada secured the third 1-2 result at the Sochi Winter Gams after having locked in Gold in Silver in both, men's and ladies moguls before.
Anna Holmlund (SWE) rounded out the podium as third capitalizing on a crash of pre-race favourite Ophelie David (FRA) thus bringing home the first Olympic freestyle skiing medal for her home country in 20 years.

And there was a particularly emotional climax to the women’s aerials, where 34-year-old Alla Tsuper of Belarus, looking for a first medal at her fourth Games, opened her account with gold, relegating defending champion Lydia Lassila to bronze in a thrilling contest that saw the Australian become the first woman to pull off a quad-twisting triple somersault. In the men’s event, Tsuper’s compatriot Anton Kushner also ended his long quest for an Olympic title to complete a Belarusian double.


Competing in her fifth and final Olympic Games, veteran Alla Tsuper (Belarus) was able to cleanly land a back full, full, full jump to score 98.01 and take gold in the Sochi 2014 ladies aerials competition on Friday night. At the age of 34 years and 304 days, Tsuper has now become the oldest medallist in any Freestyle Skiing event.
Xu Mengtao (China) was the last woman to jump, needing only to land cleanly to take gold, but a hand drag in her landing meant she would have to settle for silver with a score of 83.50.
Vancouver 2010 gold medallist Lydia Lassila (Australia) attempted the most difficult jump of the evening but crashed in her landing. The Australian's performance was good enough for a score of 72.12 and the bronze medal.


Anton Kushnir (Belarus) put down the jump of his life to take gold at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Monday night in a stacked super final in Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
After failing to qualify with his first jump, Kushnir stuck his last-ditch second qualifying attempt and was nearly perfect from there on, sticking clean landing after clean landing to make his way through the unforgiving Olympic Winter Games elimination format.
Jumping second in the super final after qualifying in third from the final two, Kushnir landed a back double-full, full, double-full air that earned him a score of 134.50, the highest of the night in any round by more than 13 points.
A jubilant David Morris claimed a first men's aerials medal for Australia, with a back double-full, full, full earning him a score of 110.41, and the silver medal.
Jia Zongyang (China) fell on his back full, double-full, double-full, but it was still enough for him to earn 95.06 -and bronze -and surpass his countryman Qi Guangpu, who also fell on his attempt.

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