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Medals won in first Olympic women's ski halfpipe

Published On: Feb 20 2014 12:27:52 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 20 2014 02:00:47 PM CST
Maddie Bowman, ski halfpipe, Sochi Olympics

Dylan Martinez/Reuters

American Maddie Bowman captured the first Olympic gold medal in women's freestyle skiing halfpipe Thursday at the Sochi Games.

Marie Martinod of France finished second to win the silver medal and Ayana Onozuka of Japan took the bronze.

Bowman, a 20-year-old from South Lake Tahoe, Calif., delivered the top performance during her first run in the finals and then bettered it with her second run to win the event.

The two-time reigning Winter X Games champion in the superpipe, Bowman also won a silver in the event at the Winter X Games in 2012.

In her four World Cup seasons, Bowman has never finished lower than fourth in the halfpipe standings, and came into Sochi off a second-place season, behind U.S. teammate Devin Logan, who competed in slopestyle in Sochi, but did not qualify for the halfpipe.

Bowman only competed in two of the four events making up the 2013-14 World Cup halfpipe season, but won one and finished second in the other.

While the event is new to the Olympics, it has been included at the International Ski Federation's Freestyle World Ski Championships since 2005. It has also been contended at the Winter X Games since 2002 as superpipe, which is a larger halfpipe used in extreme sports.

The 12 skiers who advanced to the finals each got two runs, with their best score counting toward the medals.

Of the other Americans in the finals, Brita Sigourney finished sixth, Annalisa Drew was ninth and Angeli Vanlaanen was 11th.

Bowman and Sigourney topped everybody in the qualification round, easily advancing to the final, while Vanlaanen and Drew also advanced off the strength of their second of two qualifying runs. Drew, however, just barely made the cut, finishing the qualifier 11th out of the 12 skiers who advanced.