Swiss women earn gold and silver in 2018 Olympic slopestyle

Swiss women earn gold and silver in 2018 Olympic slopestyle

More than one week after the commencement of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, in PyeongChang, South Korea, and following a great deal of excitement surrounding sports like snowboarding and ski racing (United States snowboarders Red Gerard, Jamie Anderson, Chloe Kim and Shaun White all secured gold medals, as did U.S. ski racer Michaela Shiffrin—collectively attracting some 110 million-plus TV viewers, per NBC) the freeskiers finally had their chance to shine. On Saturday, February 17, freeskiing made its sophomore debut on the Olympic stage. The women’s ski slopestyle event was the first of four freeskiing events to be contested at the PyeongChang Games; and at the conclusion of said competition it was Switzerland that had cause for massive celebration, with Swiss skiers Sarah Hoefflin and Mathilde Gremaud taking first and second, respectively. British skier Isabel Atkin rounded out the podium, in third.

At age 27, Sarah Hoefflin was the second-oldest skier in the field. Yet, she’s a relative newcomer on the world stage; the Geneva-based skier grew up on the slopes but did not turn to freeskiing until college. Even then, she says, skiing is not something she considered as a potential career. As fate had it, Hoefflin’s plans to attend medical school were foiled and she spent a season skiing in the French Alps. Before long, she found herself on the Swiss Freeski Team, and one among only a handful of women to have landed a double cork on skis. Having that ability played to her advantage, today, as she capped off her third run in a three-run final with a lofty switch double cork 900.

U.S. women competing in the slopestyle event included Maggie Voisin, Devin Logan, Darian Stevens and Caroline Claire. After a two-run qualifying round, only Voisin and Logan advanced to the finals. Voisin, who recently nabbed X Games gold in Aspen, CO, was arguably the gold medal favorite. Logan, the silver medalist in slopestyle at the 2014 Games, in Sochi, was also favored to add to her trophy collection. Alas, neither was able to crack the podium.

Impressive performances by the women spurred widespread support from the skiing community on social media.

It’s safe to say these guys will be attending the party at the Swiss “team house” in PyeongChang tonight.

From left to right: Mathilde Gremaud, Sarah Hoefflin, Isabel Atkin.

Sarah Hoefflin, 2018 Olympic champion, ski slopestyle.

The freeskiing action continues tomorrow—Sunday, February 18 Korea Standard Time; or Saturday, February 17 here in the States— with the men set to rumble on the slopestyle battlefield (find the full freeskiing event schedule, below). Stay tuned for coverage of all of the freeskiing events at the PyeongChang Games, plus loads of behind-the-scenes silliness, too.

2018 Olympic Winter Games, women’s ski slopestyle results:

1. HOEFFLIN, Sarah ???????? — 91.20
2. GREMAUD, Mathilde ???????? — 88.00
3. ATKIN, Isabel ???????? — 84.60
4. VOISIN, Maggie ???????? — 81.20
5. KILLI, Johanne ???????? — 76.80
6. TSUBOTA, Yuki ???????? — 74.40
7. SUMMERHAYES, Katie ???????? — 71.40
8. BURMANSSON, Jennie-Lee ???????? — 65.00
9. SJÅSTAD CHRISTIANSEN, Tiril ???????? — 60.40
10. LOGAN, Devin ???????? — 56.80
11. DAHLSTRÖM, Emma ???????? — 52.40
12. TATALINA, Anastasiya ???????? — 51.20

View full results, here

Who are the freeskiers to watch for in PyeongChang? Click on the banner above to view FREESKIER’s list of 2018 Olympic contenders.

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2018 Olympic Winter Games fun facts

The XXIII Olympic Winter Games will be held for 17 days from February 9-25, 2018, in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, the Republic of Korea. This marks the first time the Olympics have been staged in Korea since the Summer Games were hosted in Seoul, in 1988. Japan is the only other Asian country to have hosted the Olympic Winter Games in both 1972 (Sapporo) and 1998 (Nagano).

More than 2,800 athletes from 95 nations are expected to participate in 7 sports, and 15 sport disciplines, between 102 medal events—the most ever contested at an Olympic Winter Games to date. Yup, this will be the first ever Olympic Winter Games to hand out over 100 gold medals! A total of 6 new events—such as snowboard big air (men, women), speed skating mass start (men, women), curling mixed doubles and an alpine skiing team event—have been added to the program.

The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games will be contested across 12 competition venues spread between 2 clusters: a coastal cluster of arenas for skating and curling and a mountain cluster for skiing and sliding.

The Paralympic Games will run March 9-18, 2018. More than 670 athletes representing 45 nations are expected to compete in a total of 6 sports and a total of 80 events.

Lee Suk-Woo is the designer of the medals for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. He incorporated Hangeul (the Korean alphabet and the foundation of Korean culture) into the design of the medals by using a series of three-dimensional consonants. The ribbons attached to the medals are made from Gapsa, a traditional Korean fabric. Each gold medal weighs 586 grams (1.29 pounds); silver medals weigh 580 grams (1.28 pounds); and bronze medals clock in at 493 grams (1.09 pounds), making them the heaviest Olympic medals in history.

2018 Olympic freeskiing contest & TV schedule

Note: Korea Standard Time is 16 hours ahead of Mountain Time; where an event may be listed as taking place on February 16, keep in mind, it may in fact be taking place on February 17 across the pond. OK, dive in!

Friday, February 16, 2018:

Women’s freeski slopestyle qualifying — 6:00 p.m. MT (nbcolympics.com)

Women’s freeski slopestyle finals ???? — 9:00 p.m. MT (NBC primetime coverage; nbcolympics.com)

Saturday, February 17, 2018:

Men’s freeski slopestyle qualifying — 6:00 p.m. MT (NBCSN; nbcolympics.com)

Men’s freeski slopestyle finals ???? — 9:15 p.m. MT (NBC primetime coverage; nbcolympics.com)

Sunday, February 18, 2018:

Women’s freeski halfpipe qualifying — 6:00 p.m. MT (nbcolympics.com)

Monday, February 19, 2018:

Women’s freeski halfpipe finals ???? — 6:00 p.m. MT (NBC primetime coverage; nbcolympics.com)

Men’s freeski halfpipe qualifying — 9:00 p.m. MT (NBC primetime coverage; nbcolympics.com)

Tuesday, February 21, 2018:

Men’s freeski halfpipe finals ???? — 7:30 p.m. MT (NBC primetime coverage; nbcolympics.com)

*Schedule above is subject to change.

For the full run-down of Olympic events and associated television coverage, visit nbcolympics.com/live-stream-schedule.

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