Joss Christensen leads ski slopestyle sweep for Team USA

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For the third time in history, the U.S. has swept the medals in a Winter Olympic event.

In the inaugural Olympic men’s ski slopestyle final, Joss Christensen became the discipline’s first champion and topped a podium that also featured teammates Gus Kenworthy with the silver and Nick Goepper with the bronze.

VIDEO: Watch all the U.S. runs

They join Hayes Jenkins, Ronnie Robertson and David Jenkins (1956, men’s figure skating) plus Ross Powers, Danny Kass and J.J. Thomas (2002, men’s snowboard halfpipe) as American trios that have bagged gold, silver, and bronze in a Winter Games.

VIDEO: See how U.S. dominated event

It’s also the third event sweep already at the Sochi Olympics, which, according to Olympic historian Bill Mallon, equals the most ever for men in a single Winter Games; such a feat had taken place just once before, at St. Moritz in 1928.

Christensen’s gold marks the fourth such medal for the U.S. in the Sochi Olympics, and it’s the first of the four to come outside of snowboarding after wins from Sage Kotsenburg (men’s slopestyle), Jamie Anderson (women’s slopestyle) and Kaitlyn Farrington (women’s halfpipe).

VIDEO: The science behind Christensen’s golden run

Pulling off a triple cork on the first run of his final, Christensen netted a 95.80 that was enough to hold off a strong second run from Kenworthy (93.60) and first run from Goepper (92.40).

The Park City, Utah native won the final Olympic qualifier event before being put on the U.S. Olympic Team as a discretionary selection.

His addition to Team USA came after the death of his father, J.D., last August; Joss was training with the U.S. team in New Zealand at the time.

FREESTYLE SKIING – MEN’S SLOPESTYLE FINAL
1. Joss Christensen (USA), 95.80
2. Gus Kenworthy (USA), 93.60
3. Nick Goepper (USA), 92.40
4. Andreas Haatveit (NOR), 91.80
5. James Woods (GBR), 86.60
6. Henrik Harlaut (SWE), 84.40
7. Aleksander Aurdal (NOR), 81.80
8. Russell Henshaw (AUS), 80.40
9. Bobby Brown (USA), 78.40
10. Oystein Bratten (NOR), 66.40
11. Josiah Wells (NZL), 60.00
12. Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (CAN), 21.40

Gracie Gold qualifies for nationals, Polina Edmunds shut out

NBC Sports Gold
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2014 Olympian Gracie Gold qualified for the 2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships by virtue of a third-place finish at the Eastern Sectional Singles Final on Saturday in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

“Bronze: so hot this fall,” Gold posted on Instagram. She last competed at U.S. nationals in 2017, when she finished sixth. She won the national title in 2014 and 2016.

Gold sat second after the short program with 63.55 points, and ultimately finished third overall with 109.90 points in the free skate for 173.45 points. The top four at the event qualify for the national championships in Greensboro, North Carolina in January.

Her free skate included a fall on the opening triple Lutz and an under-rotation on the triple Lutz, double toe loop combination. She also put a hand down on the landing of a double Axel. The rest of the program, though, was clean.

Her performance, set to “She Used to be Mine” by Sara Bareilles, can be found at the 2:05 mark of the on-demand stream of the event for NBC Gold Pass subscribers.

Meanwhile, her Sochi teammate Polina Edmunds was shut out of nationals based on a fifth-place finish at the Pacific Coast Sectional Singles Final (top four qualify). Her performance can be found for NBC Gold Pass subscribers at the 1:50 mark of the on-demand stream for the event. Edmunds last competed at Nationals in 2016, when she earned the silver medal behind Gold.

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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Bronze: so hot this fall 🥉

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Brittany Bowe extends unbeaten streak to open speed skating World Cup

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Brittany Bowe extended one of the most dominant runs for any U.S. Winter Olympian, earning her first straight World Cup 1000m win to open the season on Sunday.

Bowe, fourth and eighth in the event at her two Olympics, clocked 1:15.35 in Minsk, Belarus, to beat PyeongChang gold medalist Jorien ter Mors by six tenths. Ter Mors missed all of last season after knee surgery.

Bowe won every World Cup 1000m dating to last December, plus her second world title in the event last February, lowering track records at each stop.

She ended last season by breaking the world record by .48 of a second on the fast ice of the 2002 Olympic oval in Kearns, Utah. That time — 1:11.61 — would have been the men’s world record as recently as 1997.

Bowe, a former Florida Atlantic point guard who missed all of 2016-17 with a concussion, is up to 23 career World Cup wins. That’s fifth on the U.S. all-time list behind Bonnie Blair (69), Shani Davis (58), Dan Jansen (46) and Heather Bergsma (34), according to schaatsstatistieken.nl.

The World Cup moves to Poland next week.

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