February 13

Joss Christensen leads U.S. sweep in slopestyle skiing

Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper claim silver and bronze for just the third sweep in American Winter Olympic history.

By Will Graves
Ap Sports Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Joss Christensen of the United States competes in the men’s ski slopestyle qualifying at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Christensen’s three off-axis jumps at the end of his first qualifying run totaled 10 full spins in the span of 15 seconds — all coming while he skied over the ramp backward.

The Associated Press

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Gus Kenworthy of the United States celebrates at the end of his second run in the men’s ski slopestyle final. Kenworthy took the silver medal.

The Associated Press

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Kenworthy, from Telluride, Colo., was already planning to head back home with a family of stray dogs that call the streets of Sochi home. Now they’ll have some company – a silver medal. He raised his arms over his head after his second finals run and busted out laughing when his score of 93.60 was revealed.

Goepper, the gold medal favorite from Lawrenceburg, Ind., dropped a 92.40 during his first finals run but couldn’t top it in the second. He smacked his skis against the second rail feature, ending his chance of leapfrogging Christensen.

Not that it mattered.

“I feel amazing,” he said. “I think today was the best display of skiing we have ever seen in our sport, so I am so happy.”

Norway’s Andreas Haatveit was the final skier with a chance to break the U.S.’s grip on the podium. While his last trip was slick, he seemed to know he would come up short he crossed the finish line. Haatveit put his hands together as if to pray, then shrugged and gave the Americans a push when he ended up fourth.

With a gold medal assured, Christensen didn’t exactly take it easy on his final run.

Twisting and flipping his way to his teammates, he pumped his arms in celebration. When his score was posted, the roar quickly morphed into chants of “USA! USA!”

“Just competing for the U.S. is so cool,” Christensen said. “We’re all representing. All our stuff has USA on it. It’s not like a normal team that we’re used to. We can be proud to be on this team. Today was a good showing of our sport. Hopefully world recognizes how much fun we’re having.”

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Additional Photos

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U.S. supporters pose for photos after U.S. skiers swept all three medals in the men’s ski slopestyle final at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.)

The Associated Press


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