Torah Bright and Isabel Derungs posted the top scores, while contender Kjersti Buaas had a painful accident.
Date: 6- Feb
Event: Women’s slopestyle qualifying, first heat
How U.S. fared: They’re in the second heat, coming up next.
What happened: Three-event threat Torah Bright (Australia) laid down a conservative first run and was as surprised as anyone else when she got the top score of 85.25. Switzerland’s Isabel Derungs took over that top spot with 87.50 in the second run. Qualifying straight to the final: Derungs, Bright, Canada’s Spencer O’Brien and Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi. Everyone else in the heat must go through the semifinals.
Norway’s Kjersti Buaas, the 2006 halfpipe bronze medalist, had a nasty wipeout in Run 2. She got off-kilter in the air and was in obvious trouble. She landed on her side, thankfully with plenty of time to get her arms out and protect her head. She got up on her own but was limping heavily and needed medical help.
Rukajarvi also took a spill on her second run, bouncing off her board and landing on her back. But she bounced up again and finished on her own power, and her first-run score kept her in the top four.
Other than Buaas, the only other contender to miss out on qualifying directly to the final was Switzerland’s Sina Candrian. The World Championship runner-up had two wobbly runs.