Rosalind Groenewoud earns gold at Winter X Games 16 Superpipe
Roz's classic mega-air on her first hit.
In an emotionally charged day—in an X Games women's superpipe event that the world won't soon forget—in a day amidst a lifetime dedicated to the late Sarah Burke, her good friend and teammate Rosalind Groenewoud took home the gold medal today. The young Canadian has medaled at X Games many times, but this gold medal is one that she'll never forget.
"It means so much," she said emotionally. "After the tribute on Thursday, I am so proud to be a skier. The outpouring of support has been amazing. I felt like I had Sarah with me. She has been a teammate for so long. This is for Sarah."
Following Roz on the podium was first time medalist (silver) Maddie Bowman of Lake Tahoe and last year's silver medalist, Brita Sigourney in third place. Groenewoud marks the fourth female to take home Winter X gold in superpipe (behind Grete Eliassen, Sarah Burke and Jen Hudak).
Groenewoud's run was not only technical, but contained the largest air of the day, her 14-foot boost on her first hit. With a 900, both ways 540s and a switch 540, Groenewoud's run was tough to beat. Second place Maddie Bowman has been skiing as solid as anyone of late. The winner of last week's Dew Tour Bowman's 900, 540s and rightside 720 were enough to secure herself a seat at the podium table.
Brita Sigourney, one of the favored ladies for the event, brought down the house on her second run capping it off with a monster 1080. The 1080 was smooth and cleanly landed, upping the ante for all women in competition. Just missing out on the podium was France's Anais Caradeux. Anais' 900s and alley oop 540s were a thing of beauty as she sliced her way down the pipe, just a couple points off that bronze medal.
Devin Logan, one of two females to pull double duty with slope and pipe, couldn't quite get her run dialed today, trying an alley oop flatspin in her third run. Once the Vermonter gets that trick dialed, watch out ladies, as she'll be even more of threat. Keltie Hansen had her 900 on tractor beam lock today, but she had trouble stomping the alley oop flare/slatspin in her third run that would have likely elevated her to the 90s. Young Dara Howell has been showing promise in the halfpipe, but couldn't get her run together in a manner she would have liked. And rounding out the finalists was Megan Gunning. After a year hiatus from the event, the stylish Albertan was attempting back-to-back cork 900s, which likely would have landed her on the podium. Unfortunately it just wasn't her day as she couldn't get them under her cleanly today.
Devin Logan amidst and alley oop
“I am always happy to be on the podium,” Sigourney said. “It was definitely stressful today and I don’t usually ski well under pressure but I pulled it off today.“
With big air, new tricks and new faces on the podium, the women's superpipe event today was truly special, and one that no one will soon forget. “Honestly this is kind of shocking, it is just now sinking in,” an excited Bowman said. “It’s great and I am honored to be able to go out and ski like Sarah would have wanted.”
Women's final results:
1_ Rosalind Groenewoud – 93.66
2_ Maddie Bowman – 92.00
3_ Brita Sigourney – 90.66
4_ Anais Caradeux – 89.00
5_ Devin Logan – 87.66
6_ Keltie Hansen – 86.33
7_ Dara Howell – 70.66
8_ Megan Gunning – 49.00
About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com, offering insights re: the lives of his Monster athletes.