freestyle skiing

Eileen Gu, Alex Hall Headline Freestyle Skiing Action From 2022 Winter Olympics

Eileen Gu, Alex Hall and Nick Goepper provided some of the best freeski highlights at the 2022 Games

Alexander Hall and Eileen Gu.
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The U.S. and Canada entered the 2022 Winter Games tied for the all-time lead in Olympic freestyle skiing medals with 25. After 13 medal events in Beijing, Team USA now holds the lead.

Team USA earned eight medals during this year’s Games: two gold, four silver and two bronze. Meanwhile, Canada won five.

Some of Team USA’s freeski medals came from Olympic rookies, while others came from returning medalists.

While the U.S. leaves these Games with the all-time lead in Olympic freeski medals, the real star of Beijing was competing for the home country.

Here’s a look at the best of the best from freestyle skiing at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Eileen Gu makes history with three freeski medals

The women’s freestyle skiing competition – and the Olympics at large – belonged to Eileen Gu.

The 18-year-old grew up in San Francisco but chose to represent China, her mother’s native country, in Beijing. Once competition began, she put on quite a show for the host nation.

Gu’s Olympics began with the first ever women’s freeski big air competition. It was a tight contest between her and France’s Tess Ledeux, but Gu emerged with gold after nailing a 94.50-point trick in her final run.

After enjoying a sandwich during qualifying, Gu’s next event ended with a silver medal. Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud, the bronze medalist in big air, held on to win by just .33 points over Gu in slopestyle.

Gu got to save her best event for last. She dominated the halfpipe event, as her first-run score of 93.25 would have been enough to clinch the victory. She then padded her lead with a 95.25 mark in her second run on her way to her second Olympic gold.

With the two golds and one silver, Gu became the first freestyle skier to earn three medals at a single Olympics.

Team USA’s Alex Hall, Nick Goepper go 1-2 in men’s slopestyle

Team USA claimed the top two spots in the men’s freeski slopestyle event.

Alex Hall placed first with a 90.01 score on his first run, giving him his first career Olympic medal.

Nick Goepper, meanwhile, claimed silver for the second straight Olympics thanks to an 86.48 on his second run. Add in a bronze from the 2014 Sochi Games, and Goepper is the only athlete to medal in all three editions of the Olympic men’s freeski slopestyle event.

The U.S. was unable to complete a podium sweep for the second time in three Olympics, as Sweden’s Jesper Tjader earned bronze and Team USA’s Colby Stevenson placed seventh. Still, Stevenson is heading back to the States with some hardware…

Colby Stevenson secures silver in men’s big air

Stevenson went big to earn his first ever Olympic medal. 

The 24-year-old overcame a near-fatal car crash in 2016 to reach the 2022 Winter Games. Once in Beijing, Stevenson stepped up in the inaugural men’s big air competition. He came up clutch with a 91.75 score in his second run and a 91.25 score in his third run.

Norway’s Birk Ruud earned gold and Sweden’s Henrik Harlaut earned bronze.

Team USA wins gold in mixed team aerials 

Another U.S. freeski medal came in an inaugural event.

The Team USA group of four-time Olympian Ashley Caldwell and Olympic rookies Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld pulled off a gold-medal upset. The win gave the U.S. its first aerial freestyle skiing gold medal since the 1998 Nagano Games.

China, the favorites heading into the event, settled for silver and Canada received bronze. 

Lillis was the last skier to go for the U.S. and earned a 135.00 score after pulling off a back double full-full-double full jump.

Megan Nick earns bronze in women’s aerials

In addition to the mixed team gold, Megan Nick gave Team USA another aerial medal in the women’s event. 

Competing in her first Olympics, the Olympic rookie edged Caldwell in the individual event. Nick landed a full double fold, earning a 93.76. Caldwell finished in fourth place with a score of 83.71.

China's Xu Mengtao, the silver medalist at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, won gold. Belarus’ Hannah Huskova, the 2018 gold medalist, earned her second straight Olympic medal with silver in Beijing.

Jaelin Kauf soars to silver medal in women’s moguls

Four American freeskiers made it to the final 12 of the women’s moguls event, but Jaelin Kauf was the only one to reach the podium.

Kauf went from seventh place in PyeongChang to second in Beijing. She earned a final score of 80.28 and helped the U.S. earn its seventh ever medal in the event, the most of any country.

Australia’s Jakara Anthony earned gold with an 83.09 score, while Anastasiia Smirnova came away with bronze with a 77.72 score.

David Wise, Alex Ferreira medal again in men’s halfpipe

Americans David Wise and Alex Ferreira made it back to the podium in the halfpipe event.

Wise, who was the two-time defending Olympic champion, earned a third straight halfpipe medal with a second-place score of 90.75.

New Zealand’s Nico Porteous prevented Wise from becoming the first American male to win gold in the same event at three consecutive Winter Olympics. The reigning bronze medalist, Porteous recorded a first-place score of 93.0. He’s the first skier other than Wise to win the Olympic event.

And after winning silver in 2018, Ferriera picked up a bronze with a score of 86.75.

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