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David Wise defends ski halfpipe title; Alex Ferreira wins silver

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After falling on his first run of the qualifying round, David Wise had to play it safe and use a very mellow run to get himself into the final.

After falling on his first two runs of the final, there was no playing it safe for the defending gold medalist.

Wise stuck to the game plan and landed the run he wanted — a run that featured double corks spun in four different directions — on his third and final attempt. It vaulted him into the lead with a 97.20 and earned him his second consecutive Olympic gold medal.

Results

Gold: David Wise (USA)

Silver: Adam Ferreira (USA)

Bronze: Nico Porteus (NZL)

Cassie Sharpe rules halfpipe gold; USA’s Sigourney gets bronze

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Canadian freeskier Cassie Sharpe dominated the women’s freeski halfpipe competition to win her first Olympic gold medal.

Sharpe’s first run of the final — which included cork 900s in both directions — didn’t even contain her biggest trick, but it still put her atop the leaderboard with a 94.4.

On her second run, Sharpe stepped it up with back-to-back 900s at the top of the halfpipe and a cork 1080 spun to her left on her last hit. Those progressive tricks, combined with Sharpe’s great amplitude, upped her score to a 95.8.

No one was able to match that, and Sharpe became the new Olympic champion.

Sharpe wasn’t the only skier to land a 1080 though. France’s Marie Martinod landed a left 1080 on her second run to help her score a 92.6. That gave Martinod her second straight Olympic silver medal in what will be the final contest of her career.

At 33, Martinod was the oldest skier in the field. She previously retired for five years (from 2006-2011) before reemerging to make a run at the 2014 and 2018 Olympics, but will now head back into retirement.

U.S. skier Brita Sigourney took the bronze medal after scoring a 91.6 on her final run and bumping teammate Annalisa Drew down to fourth place.

Read the full story and watch video at NBCOlympics.com

It’s not just big tricks when it comes to freeskiing gold

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — For a woman with an Olympic gold medal sitting at home, Maddie Bowman sure took her share of grief over the past four years.

She did tougher tricks than anyone — thus, the halfpipe gold medal — but in pockets of the sometimes (nit)picky world of freeskiing, she wasn’t considered all that great a champion.

The main complaint: She lacked style.

Style might be best defined as the cool grabs of the snowboards and skis, and the creative lines and tricks the athletes perform on the rails of the slopestyle course. A deft touch in those areas can turn a high-flying acrobat show into a true work of art.

“My mom doesn’t (care) about my grabs,” Bowman said, a nod to the fact that the casual viewer won’t notice much of what the aficionado considers mandatory. “But to our sport, and as a person of this sport, it’s super important.”

Bowman concedes the criticism, some of it spelled out starkly in a 2015 piece , hurt her.

Read the rest of the story and watch video, streams at NBCOlympics.com