Mikael Kingsbury continued his domination on the moguls course, while the freeskiers showed just how much halfpipe and slopestyle have progressed over the last four years. Here’s a look back at some of the top moments from the PyeongChang Games in freestyle skiing.
NBCOlymipcs.com: Watch every USA freeskiing medal win at the 2018 Olympics
Mikael Kingsbury finally adds Olympic gold to his collection
Canadian mogul skier Mikael Kingsbury came to PyeongChang with a record 48 World Cup victories, six straight World Cup titles and two world championships gold medals. But Olympic gold was still the one thing missing from his résumé.
Kingsbury had finished second behind countryman Alex Bilodeau at the last Olympics, but this time, he emerged with the gold medal and showed why he just might be the most dominant athlete in winter sports right now.
Jon Lillis honors his brother Mikey
U.S. skier Jon Lillis and his two younger brothers, Chris and Mikey, dreamed of going to the Olympics together as aerialists. But last October, Mikey unexpectedly died in his sleep at the age of 19.
Lillis, the reigning world champion in men’s aerials, made it to the Olympics and while there, honored his brother’s memory. During the Opening Ceremony, he walked into the stadium while wearing a special pendant that contained some of Mikey’s ashes. He then competed while wearing Mikey’s old ski suit, making it into the second round of the finals and finishing in eighth place.
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our years ago, U.S. freeskiers swept the podium in men’s slopestyle. Could there be a sweep in the halfpipe this time around?
Each nation that earns quota spots can only send a maximum of four halfpipe skiers to PyeongChang. The Olympic selection process for the U.S. halfpipe team was a brutal one, with several world-class talents such as Gus Kenworthy missing the team. (Kenworthy did make the slopestyle team though.)
Over the course of the Olympic selection events, the deep U.S. team was paired down to its final four, and all four of those skiers have the talent to win gold.
As for the possibility of a medal sweep, that’s in play too. Three U.S. skiers made up the podium at last month’s X Games, which is as close to an Olympic preview as it gets.
Here’s a look at the stars of the halfpipe — from the U.S. and rest of the world — who will be hunting for medals when competition gets underway Tuesday in PyeongChang (Monday night in the U.S.).
Read the full preview at NBCOlympics.com
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Philippe Marquis needed something to take his mind off the searing pain in his right knee. The knee with the torn anterior cruciate ligament. The knee with surgery scheduled for next month. The knee that for years has been a vital shock absorber during Marquis’ rise to one of the best moguls skiers on the planet.
NBCOlympics.com: Freeskiers may need more than just big tricks to win halfpipe or slopestyle gold
So the Canadian grabbed his gloves and a Sharpie and started writing. He scribbled “Engage” on his left thumb, “Fire” on his right thumb and added “What ACL” and “Keep Fighting” on the underside of his wrists because, hey, he was on a roll.
Usually, the 28-year-old from Quebec isn’t into self-help stuff. He hasn’t needed it during a career that’d been largely devoid of injury until one bad bounce in Utah last month that left his ACL shredded and his Olympics very much in doubt.
Still, there Marquis was in the starting gate at Phoenix Snow Park on Friday morning during Olympic qualifying, his mere presence a testament to his own stubbornness, the expert care of the Canadian medical staff and copious amounts of tape.
Read more and watch highlights from the men’s moguls qualifying