Sochi recap: Freestyle skiing, women’s slopestyle

Another big day for North American action sports athletes, with Devin Logan taking silver between Canadians Dara Howell and Kim Lamarre. But the competition had a lot of crashes — one horrific.

Date: 11-Feb

Sport: Freestyle skiing

Event: Women’s slopestyle

Medalists: Dara Howell (Canada), Devin Logan (USA), Kim Lamarre (Canada)

SportsMyriad projections: Kaya Turski (Canada), Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen (Norway), Keri Herman (USA)

How U.S. fared: Keri Herman squeaked through qualification and was all smiles at the start of the final, but her first run was a mess just a few seconds in, as she lost her balance on a rail and landed awkwardly. The rest of that run was mere practice. She didn’t look confident on her second run, missing a couple of landings and bailing out of the last obstacle. Kept her smile, though.

Julia Krass made a bit more of her first run but had a couple of shaky landings and a frightening finish, slamming her back and head to the snow off her last jump. Her second run was a series of awkward landings,

Devin Logan, got things right. The only hiccup in her strong first run was a little bit of shakiness off the last jump. She scored 85.40 — the leader at the time, then second when all the skiers had gone once. She went for broke on the second run and looked like a contender to move up until crashing on her last jump. We’ll see her again in the halfpipe.

Maggie Voisin, the youngest U.S. Olympian at age 15, was injured in training and could not compete.

What happened: Qualification had a shocker — Canadian favorite Kaya Turski fell on each run and didn’t make it through. With Norway’s Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen missing the Games through injury, that was two favorites out before the final.

The first run of the final was mostly a mess. After Herman slipped on her first rail, Switzerland’s Camillia Berra outright crashed at the same spot. Other skiers struggled to land their tricks.

Finally, Australia’s Anna Segal landed a 720 and a few other slick tricks without major difficulty. The 2009 X Games winner and 2011 world champion took first place at 77.00 points. Logan followed a couple of skiers later.

The best was last in the first run — Canada’s Dara Howell went big and clean for a 94.20.

The errors continued in the second run. Berra looked heartbroken after her run.  Segal couldn’t quite rotate her 720 and crashed, remaining in bronze medal position from her first-run score.

Sweden’s Emma Dahlstrom, fourth after her first run, had another decent but not spectacular run, adding a couple of points to her score but not quite enough to move up.

Canada’s Yuki Tsubota made a decent charge but crashed hard on her last jump, not quite reaching the downslope. The impact dislodged a ski and some other equipment, and the medical crew was out quickly and took her away on a stretcher.

Britain’s Katie Summerhayes showed remarkable composure as the next athlete to go after Tsubota’s crash, but she touched her hands down on a couple of landings, not quite clean enough for the podium.

That left two more Canadians — Kim Lamarre, who crashed on her first run, and leader Dara Howell. Lamarre simply nailed it — a couple of nifty tricks and impeccable form on her simpler efforts. She moved up to bronze, bumping Segal off the podium.

And that result clinched gold for Howell before her final run. The Canadian champion did a celebratory final run, getting nice air but not trying anything spectacular.

Full results

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Beau Dure

The guy who wrote a bunch of soccer books and now runs a Gen X-themed podcast while substitute teaching and continuing to write freelance stuff.

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