Kaitlyn Farrington of U.S. wins gold in snowboard halfpipe; Bright gets silver, Clark gets bronze

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Kaitlyn Farrington has become the second of three American snowboarders to win gold in Sochi after making the U.S. Olympic Team via a win in the final Olympic qualifying event.

Last month, both Farrington and Sage Kotsenburg punched their tickets to Sochi through victories at Mammoth Mountain, California.

Now, four days after Kotsenburg won in men’s slopestyle, Farrington (pictured, center) has followed suit in the women’s halfpipe.

VIDEO: Farrington wins gold

The Idaho native, who advanced to the final after posting the best semifinal score, improved upon a solid first run to take the lead with a second-run that got her a 91.75.

It would prove just enough to win, as Vancouver 2010 gold medalist Torah Bright of Australia (pictured, right) missed a second consecutive gold by a mere one-quarter of a point (second run of 91.50).

VIDEO: Watch Farrington’s golden run

Kelly Clark (pictured, left), the 2002 gold medalist in Salt Lake City, was the last to try and unseat Farrington. Clark hit the ledge and fell on her first run, but came back with a 90.75 on her second that was enough to get her the bronze. It’s her third career medal in her fourth Olympics.

VIDEO: Clark goes down hard during first run

Clark’s effort knocked teammate and 2006 Torino winner Hannah Teter off the podium. Teter had the overall lead following the first run with a 90.50 but fell on her second run, opening the door for Bright and Clark to come away with medals.

But atop the podium is 24-year-old Farrington, who, like Kotsenburg, is making her Olympic debut in Sochi. Her parents did everything they could to help her along the way, even selling off all of the cows from their family farm to help fund her training.

VIDEO: Torah Bright settles for silver

Now, they can say they raised an Olympic champion.

WOMEN’S SNOWBOARDING – HALFPIPE FINAL
Best of two runs
1. Kaitlyn Farrington (USA), 91.75
2. Torah Bright (AUS), 91.50
3. Kelly Clark (USA), 90.75
4. Hannah Teter (USA), 90.50
5. Rana Okada (JPN), 85.50
6. Xuetong Cai (CHN), 84.25
7. Sophie Rodriguez (FRA), 79.50
8. Shuang Li (CHN), 73.25
9. Jiayu Liu (CHN), 68.25
10. Mirabelle Thovex (FRA), 67.00
11. Queralt Castellet (ESP), 61.75
12. Ursina Haller (SUI), 48.75

Sky Brown, 11-year-old Olympic skateboard hopeful, suffers serious injuries in fall

Sky Brown Skateboard Fall
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Sky Brown, an 11-year-old British Olympic skateboarding hopeful, recently suffered her worst fall, requiring surgery, she said in a video posted from a hospital bed.

Brown suffered skull fractures and broke her left wrist and hand and was at first unresponsive upon arrival to a hospital, according to the BBC, which quoted her father.

Video of the fall from a skateboarding ramp was posted on her social media. She appeared to be wearing a helmet in the video.

“I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them because I want people to see the fun in what I do,” Brown said. “But this was my worst fall, and I just want everyone to know that, it’s OK, don’t worry. I’m OK. It’s OK to fall sometimes. I’m just going to get back up and push even harder. I know there’s a lot of things going on in the world right now. I want everyone to know that whatever we do, we’ve just go to do it with love and happiness.”

Brown is the 2019 World bronze medalist in the new Olympic sport’s park discipline.

Later Tuesday, Brown reposted an Instagram post from what appeared to be her father’s account. The caption of that post said Brown fell 15 feet to flat concrete.

“I held her in my arms and she bled helplessly moaning in and out of consciousness waiting for the helicopter to take her to the Hospital,” the caption read. “We spent the night sick and terrified not knowing if Sky was going to make it through the night, as the ICU team tried to get her conscious and kept her alive.

“4 days later Sky sits across from me with her full memory back, smiling, watching TikTok while Eating her favorite bad snacks.”

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Last week the worst thing I could ever ever imagined happened to @skybrown . She fell about 15ft off the side of a vert ramp to flat concrete. I held her in my arms and she bled helplessly moaning in and out of consciousness waiting for the helicopter to take her to the Hospital. We spent the night sick and terrified not knowing if Sky was going to make it through the night, as the ICU team tried to get her conscious and kept her alive. We prayed and begged God to give Sky another chance. Word came back while she was still unconscious, multiple fractures to her skull, a broken left arm, which she broke into pieces because she used it to break her fall, broken right fingers and lacerations to her heart and lungs. 4 days later Sky sits across from me with her full memory back, smiling, watching TikTok while Eating her favorite bad snacks. More importantly her Doctors and the trauma team say it’s a miracle how well she is dealing with the pain and recovering incredibly fast. They said it’s shocking and believe it’s because of her grit, positivity and attitude. Skys brother @oceanbrown has been so brave. He saw his sister fall to the ground lying in a pool of blood and was screaming in tears that night outside of the hospital. He has still not allowed into the hospital to see her. They miss each-other dearly, but no siblings are allowed to enter the hospital because of coronavirus. They’ve been spending hours a day on FaceTime with each other making funny faces to one another in fits of giggles and laughter. Sky promises Ocean daily that she will make a fast recovery so they can be together again. Sky is constantly joking and smiling and it’s hurts my heart to even imagine for a second a world without Sky; extremely thankful that I don’t have to. Thank you to the heroes that are the doctors, nurses and hospital staff that have tirelessly worked on her and helped her get to this point.

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Ted Ligety confirms he’ll ‘finish it off’ at 2022 Olympics

Ted Ligety
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Ted Ligety, a two-time U.S. Olympic Alpine skiing champion, plans to race through the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, looking to break Bode Miller‘s record as the oldest U.S. Olympic Alpine skier in history.

Ligety detailed the plans for the rest of his career in interviews with NBC Sports and SkiRacing.com this spring.

“Two final years and finish it off at the Olympics,” Ligety told Mike Tirico on Lunch Talk Live.

Previously, the 35-year-old had not announced whether he would make a push for a fifth Winter Games. But since he’s planning to race the 2020-21 season, it makes sense to extend it to the Olympic year.

“At this point, I guess I’m shooting for the Olympics,” Ligety said in a SkiRacing.com podcast published last week. “If I was going to go this year, I was going to go the next year. It kind of seems silly to stop the year before the Olympics. So, go through then and then definitely be done. So, 37, I’d definitely be an old guy at the Olympics. Actually, my body’s been feeling better this year than it has in probably the five years prior to this.”

Ligety, a gold medalist in the 2006 Olympic combined and 2014 Olympic giant slalom, would break Miller’s age record. Miller tied for super-G bronze in his fifth and final Olympics in 2014 at age 36. Come 2022, Ligety will be older than any U.S. Olympic male skier in any discipline since ski jumper Peder Falstad at the 1932 Lake Placid Olympics, according to Olympedia.org.

Before last season, Ligety said he would not race much longer if his best result for the year was eighth place, as it was in 2018-19. In 2019-20, he posted fifth- and seventh-place finishes while limiting his schedule to almost exclusively giant slaloms.

“I feel like I’m starting to progress again to the point where I feel like I can start winning races,” he said.

Ligety is trying to return to the top of the sport after a string of significant injuries: a hip labrum tear in 2015, a season-ending ACL tear in 2016 and season-ending surgery for three herniated disks in his back in 2017.

“If my body falls apart and all that, then I guess I’ll revisit things,” he said. “But trying hard to persevere and try to preserve the body in a way that I’m able to push hard through races and not be battling through pain.”

Also on his mind: a 2-year-old son, Jax, and twins on the way.

“Family life is about to get exponentially more hectic,” he said.

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