Cassie Sharpe Wins Gold | Women’s 2018 Olympic Ski Halfpipe Finals Result and Report
Results from the women's ski halfpipe finals, and what went down along the way...
Canadian Cassie Sharpe has taken the gold in the women’s ski halfpipe in her first ever Winter Olympics ahead of veteran French skier and Sochi silver-medallist Marie Martinod and American star Brita Sigourney in a repeat result of qualification.
Sharpe put down the two best runs of 94.40 and 95.80 and was never out of first position. That meant her final run was a victory lap, and while she crashed out on it she was still the clear winner.
Marie Martinod from France followed her silver medal from Sochi 2014 up with another silver medal in Pyeongchang with a score of 92.60 and America's Brita Sigourney took the bronze with a 91.60. There was a special moment when Marie brought her kid on at the end of the race.
Anna Drew will be gutted to miss out after her 90.80 knocked Brita out of the medal spots temporarily, but Brita wasn't out for long. She was up next after Anna, and took her third place spot right back from her.
Sharpe’s winning run included back to back 900s, a huge truckdriver, and finishing with a 1080, and it was enough to see her take the Winter Olympic gold.
2014 Sochi ski halfpipe gold-medallist Maddie Bowman crashed out on all three of her runs. "For her it's gold or nothing," we were told, but the experienced American was ultimately unable to turn her X Games halfpipe gold medal in January 2018 into an Olympic medal.
Team GB skier Rowan Cheshire finished in seventh place after setting a commendable score best score of 75.40 with her safety run and then unfortunately crashing out on her two next runs.
Her first run 75.40 included a big alleyoop, the first 900 of the day, a solid 540, a 700, a switch alleyoop and more. It stuck her right into second place and she stayed there for some time - with Maddie Bowman bailing on her run, before Annalisa Drew came out and went into first, and then the favourites followed.
Rowan's second run was more disappointing, with a crash relatively early in what was shaping up to be a great run, and her final run unfortunately also ended up in a bail. So it was a 75.40 best score for the UK shredder with following scores of 17.80 and 13.60.
After qualifying for the finals in ninth with a score of 74.0, Rowan should be stoked that she was able to go even better in finals. It’s been a tough past few years for Rowan in which she suffered three head injuries in 18 months and was temporarily forced to leave the sport of competitive halfpipe, so she’ll be delighted to be getting back to the top of her game and it’s great to see her up there.
Rowan’s potential was public knowledge from the moment she became the first British female skier to ever win a FIS halfpipe world cup stop (in Calgary, Canada) in 2014, aged 18 years old, and at still just 22, she has a bright future and hopefully many more Olympics ahead.
The 25-year-old Cassie Sharpe was favourite for the gold medal though, coming into the finals though after two sensational runs in qualifying yesterday saw her through to the main event in first place.
"Winning is always a bonus, but I want to showcase my ability in a way that I’m really proud of. I want to someone to look and say: Wow, I want to ski like that"
Her qualifying first run of 93.0 was better than any other score during qualifications and when she built on that to put down a 93.4 with her second run, it was clear that she was going to go through to the finals at the top of the leaderboard. The only question remaining was whether she could convert that result into a gold medal, and Team Canada will be delighted that the answer was yes.
Cassie Sharpe has already had an amazing season so far outside of the Olympics, winning two of the five women’s halfpipe stops on the FIS Freestyle Skiing tour so far this season - first opening her season with a win in Cardrona, New Zealand back in September, and then in Snowmass in the United States on 12 January.
Brita Sigourney was right behind her there in Snowmass though, and went on to win the following event in Mammoth Mountain in the US. She also finished second in the ski halfpipe at the 2018 Aspen X Games in January, with Cassie in third and Maddie Bowman a couple of steps ahead in first - so the Canadian skier will have known that she faced strong competition coming into finals despite her strong runs in qualification.
Despite this she was able to put down a run that not only won her the gold medal but showed she's a league above the rest of the field.
Before the Games, Sharpe told the Canadian Star: “Winning is always a bonus, but I want to showcase my ability in a way that I’m really proud of. I want to someone to look and say: Wow, I want to ski like that.
“I want to inspire the younger girls to come up and try it because it’s so fun."
I think it’s fair to say that Sharpe has achieved exactly that in her first Winter Olympic Games.
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