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.
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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.
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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).
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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