Maddie Bowman’s racked up the points and the rotations to claim gold in the first ever women’s freeskiing halfpipe final. Her back to back nines gave her an unassailable lead in the final and was teamed with a host of perfectly stomped spins to scored 89.00 and become the inaugural Winter Olympic champion in the event.
The final was a tight affair that once again showed what a fast moving and progressive event which almost saw the first ever 1260 landed by a woman when Annalisa Drew attempted the monster trick. Marie Martinod of France and Ayana Onozuka of Japan rounded out the podium and brought an end to the freestyle skiing events in Sochi.
Marie Martinod continued France’s good showing in the freestyle skiing, with the men taking all three available medals in the ski cross final earlier in the day. Ed Leigh compared Ayana Onozuka bronze winning run to Rumors, the seminal Fleetwood Mac album given how clean and consistent it was and it was another medal for Japan in the pipe.
Maddie Bowman was emotional in victory and looked to the sky, dedicating the win to Sarah Burke, a leading free-skier who died two years ago in a halfpipe accident. She proved composed when riding though, with her first run score of 85.80 proving good enough for gold before she significantly improved her lead with a flawless second run which added the Olympic gold medal to the Winter X-Games title she had won a month ago.