WORLD More gold for Gu as Team China's freestyle superstar wins Olympic halfpipe


More gold for Gu as Team China's freestyle superstar wins Olympic halfpipe


13:46, February 18, 2022

Team China's Gu Ailing reacts after winning the women's freestyle skiing halfpipe at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, north China, February 18, 2022. (Photo: CFP)

Team China's Gu Ailing made a big hit on Friday to win the gold in the women's freeski halfpipe at the Beijing 2022 at Genting Snow Park to become the first athlete ever to win three medals in three different freestyle skiing events in a single Winter Olympics.

The freestyle queen had come to Beijing 2022 chasing three medals and completed that goal in commanding fashion, first winning gold in big air last week, then the silver in slopestyle and crowning her Games with gold in the halfpipe.

On Friday, she topped the podium ahead of two Canadians – defending Olympic champion Cassie Sharpe and world silver medalist Rachael Karker.

The 18-year-old left no doubt she meant business from the start, having begun the day in the lead after Thursday's qualification.

She actually nailed gold with her first run, scoring 93.25 points, far ahead of the field. She then went on to top that with her second with 95.25 points. Only Sharpe managed a score above the 90-point mark in the event, recording 90.75 in her last run.

The best of three jumps counted to the final result, and with Gu's closest rivals Karker and Sharpe unable to match her high score, she had in fact sealed the victory even before her third and last run.

She hugged her coaches at the top of the course and held back tears before taking a celebratory ride down the halfpipe with none of her earlier tricks but just joyful leaps to cheers from the crowd.

While there is quite a lot of crossover between big air and slopestyle, Gu is rare in competing also in the halfpipe.

Kelly Sildaru of Estonia, who won slopestyle bronze on Tuesday, was also looking for a crossover medal but had to settle for the fourth place.

China's Li Fanghui and Zhang Kexin took the fifth and seventh places, respectively.

World bronze medalist Zoe Atkin of Great Britain did not have a good day, ending in ninth after a series of poor runs. 2018 Olympic bronze medalist Brita Sigourney of the USA landed one spot lower in the final ranking, in 10th.

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue