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.
Gold: David Wise (USA)
Silver: Adam Ferreira (USA)
Bronze: Nico Porteus (NZL)
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
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