Gu Ailing: I felt like I really deserved a victory lap

CHONGLI, Zhangjiakou, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's freeskier Gu Ailing talked about her second gold in the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games and her victory lap during the halfpipe event here on Friday.

Gu's victory not only took China's gold medal tally to eight, but also made her the youngest athlete to win three individual medals at the Olympic Winter Games.

The women's halfpipe event on Friday saw Gu eased to amazingly high 95.25 points and topped the podium with her iconic back-to-back 900 tricks, plus the right alley-oop 540.

Having already grabbed 93.25 points in her first run, Gu said it's Canadian skier Cassie Sharpe, the silver medalist of this event, who inspired her to stage some more challenging tricks.

"In my second run I wanted to step it up. Cassie with a cork 1080 inspired me so I wanted to put the right alley-oop 540 in," said the champion.

Before the freeski star really went into the third run, the 95.25 points from her second attempt had already secured a victory.

But Gu still wanted to risk a 1080 in her third try, until Gu's Chinese teammate Zhang Kexin fell down and nearly twisted the knees when attempting that trick.

"I was literally this close to doing a cork 1080 in the third run, doing a full run (instead of that victory lap).

"But Zhang fell when during that trick. It kind of woke me up," said Gu.

It reminded the young champion that she had never done a victory lap before.

"So I felt like, 'You know what, the last event at the Olympics it feels like I finally deserve it.' I'm really happy."

The double gold medalist said she was quite emotional when stood on the beginning area before the third run.

That moment rekindled her memories of being the first person in practice and the last person to leave the training course.

"I put so much work into this, all those little moments, all those time I put in.

"I really earned it!" the champion said.