If the dizzying variety of lines in the slopestyle has left you reeling, then the halfpipe will be just the tonic. The world’s best female pipe riders will be dropping in to the exact same stunt ditch, albeit with no less opportunites to showcase the creative side of snowboarding. And if it’s heart-in-mouth moments you’re after, no other discipline at PyeongChang 2018 comes close.
“Chloe Kim has been utterly dominant in the women’s pipe”
It’s been a great games for the Americans so far, and if things go as we expect them to then they’ll add another gold here. Of all the snowboard events at Pyeongchang, none seem like as much of a foregone conclusion as this one; Chloe Kim has been utterly dominant in the women’s pipe, and the only concievable way that anyone else will win is if she has an off day. Even her safety run is enough to win golds, so it’s hers to lose.
That’s not to say that it won’t be a good event packed with talent. Kelly Clark is back for an impressive fifth Olympics, and isn’t here to make up the numbers. While it’s unlikely she’ll add to her 2002 gold medal, she’s definitely capable of hitting the podium.
As well as the rest of the Americans (Maddie Mastro and Arielle Gold), other riders to look out for are Spanish veteran Queralt Castallet, China’s Liu Jaiyu, and the French combo of Mirabelle Thovex and Sophie Rodriguez.
12 of the 24 will go through to tomorrow’s final, so don’t be surprised to see some riders playing it safe. That’s no bad thing, though; expect style to be heavily favoured over technicality.