No other U.S. Sochi Olympian can say they’ve performed better than Maddie Bowman in their four biggest competitions over the last 365 days.
Bowman, 20, capped an impressive year stretch by winning her third straight Winter X Games ski halfpipe title amid falling snow in Aspen, Colo., on Wednesday night.
Her victory brought memories of Sarah Burke, who won gold in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 and died after a training crash in January 2012.
“Damn, I didn’t even realize,” Bowman said on ESPN when told she matched Burke’s three-peat. “It’s pretty crazy. I feel really honored. Every time we go out skiing, we just try to make her proud. I hope we made her proud tonight.”
Here’s Bowman’s last year:
1/24/14 — Wins X Games
2/20/14 — Wins Sochi Olympics
12/12/14 — Wins Dew Tour Mountain Championships
1/21/15 — Wins X Games
Two of Bowman’s three runs on Wednesday were good enough for gold — an 85 in her first (with two 900s) and an 85.66 in her third. Japan’s Ayana Onozuka took silver with 83.33, followed by U.S. Olympian Brita Sigourney getting bronze with 78.66. (full results here)
Onozuka won bronze in Sochi behind Bowman. The Sochi silver medalist, France’s Marie Martinod, was seventh on Wednesday. Sigourney was sixth in Sochi.
Bowman’s sustained success is more remarkable given she came back from May knee surgery.