Maddie Bowman became the first-ever women’s Olympic halfpipe skiing champion Thursday, taking gold in the sport’s debut at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. (Getty Images/AFP/Franck Fife)
ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Feb. 20) – Maddie Bowman (S. Lake Tahoe, CA) became the first-ever women’s Olympic halfpipe skiing champion Thursday, taking gold in the sport’s debut at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Bowman boosted to the top spot with her first run, and then extended her lead in a second round that saw Marie Martinod of France earn silver and Ayana Onozuka of Japan bronze. All four U.S. women advanced to the final and you can catch them all on NBC’s Primetime Olympic coverage at 8:00 p.m. EST Thursday or on NBCOlympics.com.
Maddie Bowman (S. Lake Tahoe, CA) became the first-ever women’s Olympic halfpipe skiing champion Thursday, taking gold in the sport’s debut at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
Bowman boosted to the top spot with her first run score of 85.80. One of her tricks early on forced her to improvise, and so she put down back-to-back 900s for the first time in her career. That gave her the confidence to put together an even smoother second run, which extended her lead with an 89.00.
Bowman now has Olympic gold to add to her X Games collection, which includes two gold, one silver and one bronze as well as a 2013 AFP World Tour halfpipe title.
All four Team USA athletes advanced to the final, and Brita Sigourney (Carmel, CA) went on to finish sixth after crashing during her first run.
Annalisa Drew (Andover, MA) put down a solid first run, which included one of the night’s only 1080s. She fell during her second run while attempting a 1260 and finished ninth.
Angeli VanLaanen (Bellingham, WA) had great amplitude but fell during both runs and ended up 11th.
Marie Martinod of France earned silver in the historic final and Ayana Onozuka of Japan took bronze.
Catch Team USA in the historic halfpipe debut on NBC’s Primetime Olympic coverage at 8:00 p.m. EST Thursday or on NBCOlympics.com.
QUOTES Maddie Bowman I feel like this isn’t real. I think I was pretty shocked when it happened, and happy and excited and all of the emotions. This is pretty surreal. This doesn’t happen every day. It only happens every four years and this is the first time it’s ever happened for our sport. It’s pretty crazy.
I was a little jittery before my first run. It’s a big stage, but I felt the same way at X Games so I knew that I could probably handle it. After getting that first run down it takes a lot of pressure off and then you can really just go for it.
All the girls came out here and showed the world who we are and what we do. I think everyone should be proud of that tonight because this is the first time a lot of people in this world have seen what we do and exactly why we love it.
I grew up looking up to Sarah (Burke) and watching her ski. I met her for my first time at X Games and it was the coolest moment of my life. She was a hero in my eyes and she still is. Sarah has inspired us on snow and off snow, and I think she would have been proud of how all the girls rode tonight. I sure hope I, and everyone else, made her proud because we would not be here without her.
Brita Sigourney There really wasn’t any more pressure than any other final. I just knew that I had to land my run again that I did in qualifiers, but definitely with that first run hit I was feeling a little beat up. My legs were definitely getting tired. We have never skied qualifiers and finals in the same day and that was definitely hard for me to deal with. I just went out there and did my best and it just wasn’t my final.
Maddie’s run was definitely inspiring. That was the best I’ve ever seen her ski and to know that my best friend just laid down a run that was capable of winning the Olympics was huge motivation to land my run. I love watching her ski.
Annalisa Drew I’m not disappointed at all. I didn’t get the best scores, but I skied as well as I could have tonight and I’m super excited about that. I’m just happy to be here and just happy to make it into finals, to be honest. I did that and I skied my best in my first run. In the second run I went into it with nothing to lose, thinking why not try a 12, and I happened to clip the deck. It didn’t go the way I planned but I’m still super excited about it.
Angeli VanLaanen I definitely scraped up my face tonight, but I’m feeling awesome just to be here. It’s an honor. It’s really amazing to see friends on the podium, but no matter who ended up there, they would have been my friends. So that’s a really phenomenal thing that we have as a community. It was a very exciting night for all of us.
There’s a lot of emotion tonight with this being the first event for halfpipe in the Olympics and just remembering everyone who has been a part of making this moment happen and bring our sport to this place. So it’s been an emotional night even before the scrape on my face. There’s a lot of emotion and sometimes you just have to let it out. But I definitely have a smile on my face because this has been such an honor to be a part of history in the making.