Rosalind Groenewoud 7th in women's ski halfpipe final
American Maddie Bowman wins 1st ever Olympic gold in event
Canada’s Rosalind Groenewoud finished seventh in the first-ever Olympic women's ski halfpipe final at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games on Thursday.
American Maddie Bowman, 20, executed back-to-back 900’s in her near-flawless first run and followed suit with an even more impressive second run, winning gold with a top score of 89.00. The two-time defending X Games champion dominated at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park with a score of 85.80 on her first run, both of which were the highest of the day.
France’s Marie Martinod won silver, scoring 85.40 while Ayana Onozuka of Japan was third with a score of 83.20.
"I don't think it's possible to put this into words," Bowman said after her win. "I am so happy. It's crazy."
Groenewoud, the 2011 world champion, tried to get off to a quick start in her first run by attempting a 900 right off the bat. The 2012 X Games champion couldn’t land it cleanly, though, and tumbled on her first jump to finish last heading into the second run, scoring 5.40.
The 24-year-old Calgary native’s second run was much cleaner, but she struggled on her landings and couldn’t recover, earning a score of of 74.20.
"This pipe and me didn't get along that well," Groenewoud said. "I had a lot of falls in training and that beat my body down and beat my confidence down a little bit.
"Just being at the Olympics wasn't my goal. My goal was to ski in a way that I was proud of and I didn't do that tonight."
Groenewoud won a silver medal at X Games in Aspen, Colo., in January, one month after having surgery on both knees.
Keltie Hansen of Edmonton washed out of her second trick during the first run of the qualification round, scoring just 8.60. She made up for the performance on her second run, scoring 66.20, finishing 13th, just outside of qualification.
Of the 23 starters, the top 12 advanced to the medal round. Each competitor in both the qualification and medal rounds gets two runs, with the highest score counting.
Sochi marked the debut of ski halfpipe at the Olympics. The late Sarah Burke, a former Canadian star in the sport, helped bring it into the Games.