Winter Olympics XXIV: Women’s Big Air Final Recap, Results and Medalists

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Winter Olympics XXIV: Women’s Big Air Final Recap, Results and Medalists

In its first-ever appearance at the Winter Olympics, the Big Air competition kicked off freeski events last night in Beijing, with th

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In its first-ever appearance at the Winter Olympics, the Big Air competition kicked off freeski events last night in Beijing, with the ladies dropping first. Set in a warehouse district with oddly industrial scenery, the venue and the jump actually looked prime for progression—and that’s exactly what happened. It all came down to the final run, with Eileen Gu, Tess Ledeux and Mathilde Gremaud vying for the top spot. But throughout the three runs women’s skiing was brought to new heights. 1440s and 1600s, some tricks never-before-landed in a women’s Big Air competition, became the norm while some of the sport’s most tenured athletes went head-to-head against rising stars to claim the Gold Medal.

Heading into the final fun, Ledeux held the top spot. In her first run, she came out of the gates firing, throwing down a left double cork 1620 safety—a trick she first landed in competition two weeks ago at X Games. Her second run, a switch left 1440 Japan, gave her a near-perfect two-jump score of 187.50 out of a possible 200. But Eileen Gu had something special up her sleeve, her own version of the 1620 safety. Not only did she execute it perfectly—it was the first time she had ever attempted the trick. Just goes to show that the world’s biggest stage sometimes requires laying it all on the line to bring home the top spot.

“That was the best moment of my life. The happiest moment, day, whatever – of my life,” Gu told FIS representatives after winning China’s first Olympic medal in any of the three freeski events, “I just cannot believe what just happened. I was guaranteed a podium spot when I dropped in, so I was only 0.25 points behind Mathilde, and I was thinking, ‘Should I improve on my previous trick and go for the sliver or should I whip out this random trick I’d never done before and go for gold?’ In my head, I wanted to represent myself and this competitive style that I really take pride in and that desire to push myself and push the sport. Even if I didn’t land it, I felt it would send a message out to the world and hopefully encourage more girls to break their own boundaries. That was my biggest goal going into my last run. I reminded myself to have fun and enjoy the moment and that, no matter what, I was so grateful to have this opportunity.”


Medals:

GOLD: Eileen Gu

SILVER: Tess Ledeux

BRONZE: Mathilde Gremaud


Full Results:

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