Joss Christensen Leads US Podium Sweep in Ski Slopestyle
Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (MunichNOW News/dpa) - Joss Christensen of the United States captured the first-ever Olympic gold medal in men’s ski slopestyle while also leading a US sweep of the podium.
Christensen conquered the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park course with a score of 95.80 points
Having already bagged the gold medal, the 22-year-old threw down a meaningless second run which earned the second best mark of the finals.
Gus Kenworthy grabbed the silver with a score of 93.60 while fellow American Nicholas Goepper claimed the bronze on a mark of 92.40.
“I can’t really believe it right now, this is pretty crazy. It has been just an amazing day,” said Christensen, who barely made the US team in the final qualifiers.
“I am shocked. I am stoked to be up here with my friends. America, we did it.”
The US team certainly came up with history. Not only was it the third podium sweep of the Sochi Games - after two Netherlands gold-silver-bronze finishes in speed skating - it was the first podium sweep in Olympic freestyle skiing.
The trio also picked up the Americans’ first sweep since men’s halfpipe in 2002 and third overall with the other being men’s figure skating in 1956.
“I am so stoked about an American 1-2-3,” Kenworthy said.
“Nick is always the guy to kind of beat in a contest, he is so consistent and so incredible and Joss is really killing it right now. He is one of my best friends and I am stoked.”
Goepper added: “I feel amazing. It think today was the best display of skiing we have ever seen in our sport, so I am so happy.”
The podium sweep cannot really be a huge surprise though given the US domination of the sport recently.
Americans skiers have won 10 of the 11 major competitions in men’s slopestyle - X Games, X Games Europe and world championship - since the start of the 2009-10 season with 18 of a possible 33 medals.
Norway’s Andreas Haatveit was second-best in both qualifying runs but could only finish fourth.