Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Triple Stoked; Slopestyle Skiing; Medals Sweep Extends U.S. Freestyle Dominance; SOCHI 2014

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Triple Stoked; Slopestyle Skiing; Medals Sweep Extends U.S. Freestyle Dominance; SOCHI 2014

Article excerpt

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia * A newly minted American medalist was sharing his thoughts something about making history when a certain song ringing out from fans in the stands stopped him midstream.

"The Star-Spangled Banner."

Yes, they were skiing in Russia. But on a warm and sunny afternoon that goes down as the greatest in the history of a young sport making its Olympic debut, the slopestyle course was all American.

Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper swept the podium for the United States on Thursday in slopestyle skiing, each throwing down versions of their sport's vaunted triple-cork jump to capture one of the rarest triples of all: gold, silver and bronze.

It was only the third time Americans have swept an event at the Winter Games, and the first since 2002, when a trio of snowboarders in Utah did it in the halfpipe to truly bring their sport into the mainstream. The slopestyle medalists were well aware of what they'd accomplished in matching that feat.

"We couldn't have asked for a better way to debut this sport to the world," Goepper said.

Taken separately, any of these history-making young men would have woven their own wonderful story on the day of their resplendent, high-flying Olympic debuts. On this day, they came as a package deal.

Christensen, 22, of Park City, Utah, was the last add-on to the American team, hitting his form at just the right time after a six- month period of heartbreak that began when his father, J.D., died of a heart condition. Christensen was traveling to New Zealand for a contest when his dad died. He landed, turned around and flew back home.

"I hope he's looking down and smiling, and I hope I made him proud," Christensen said.

Kenworthy, 22, of Telluride, Colo., has generated buzz at the Olympics as a dog lover. He found a stray mom and her litter of four near a bus stop in the mountains and has been tweeting photos of himself with the dogs, making arrangements to bring them back to America.

"Kind of a fairy tale," Kenworthy said.

Goepper, 19, of Lawrenceburg, Ind., grew up in hoops country, but as a kid he preferred bumming rides to the 300-foot-high ski resort nearby. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.