Winter X Games Tignes heated up Friday night, as the Women vied for a spot on the podium in Ski SuperPipe. Throwing down some of the biggest and most difficult tricks of the competition, the athletes were clearly primed for a battle. And a battle it was.
In a nail-biting finish that came down to the very last run, Canada’s Roz Groenewoud squeaked by American Devin Logan to claim the gold medal with a score of 89.33. Logan finished in second with 87.66 points and France’s Anais Caradeux finished in third with 85.00 points.
Logan came out of the gate strong, landing a huge flair, 720 and switch 5 in the first round. Logan’s performance catapulted her to the top of the leaderboard, where she remained through the second round of the competition. Then, in the third and final round, Groenewoud – sitting just tenths of a point behind first place and the last woman of the night to drop in – went big. Stomping a 900, cork 540, 720 and switch 540, the run proved to be just what the judges ordered and Groenewould surpassed Logan to claim the gold!
“I knew I was in second [place],” Groenewoud commented. “So I just tried to push myself and charge as hard as possible to get the gold. And it worked.” No stranger to the top of the podium, Groenewould also won women’s Ski Superpipe at the 2012 Winter X Games in Aspen.
Logan was also proud of her performance. “Just being on the podium feels great. Hopefully this will light a fire under me to keep pushing my skiing, ” she said.
During the television broadcast of the Women’s Finals, athletes also gathered to share memories of fallen friend and SkiPipe pioneer, Sarah Burke. Burke died in January after an accident in a Park City, Utah, halfpipe, just a week before Winter X Aspen. “We’ve got to keep pushing women’s halfpipe skiing,” American skier Maddie Bowman said. “We owe it to Sarah Burke to do that.” Burke claimed gold medals at both Winter X Aspen 2011 and Winter X Tignes 2011.
“Sarah did it in her third run last year, too,” Groenewoud said, “and I was thinking about that up at the top. I definitely felt her with me.”