Day 10 of Olympic competition saw the start of the women’s halfpipe event under near perfect conditions, where Canada’s Cassie Sharpe and Rosalind Groenewoud were both successful in advancing to the finals.
In a field of 24, each skier had two chances to qualify, with the top 12 scores moving on to the finals for a shot at the Olympic podium.
Having won two World Cup events this season, Sharpe, the 25-year-old from Comox, BC, entered the contest as a heavy medal favorite. She qualified in 1st position with a high score of 93.40, performing her signature cork 1080 trick on the last hit of her second run. She was the only woman to successfully perform the trick in competition today.
“I feel really confident, this pipe is amazing,” commented Cassie. “My goal was to land my first run; that’s the biggest thing for my confidence. If I don’t land my first run, I have a hard time coming back from it. Once I did that, I wanted to qualify first so I could drop last in the final, and use that as my victory lap, which is the best feeling in the world.”
Groenewoud, the two-time X Games gold medallist, former World Champion and veteran on the Canadian women’s halfpipe team, overcame a broken arm to successfully qualify in 11th position with a high score of 73.20.
Roz G, as she’s known by friends, was able to secure her spot on Team Canada based on her results from the 2017 season, where she was ranked 9th in the world. Competing in her second Olympics, she looks to improve upon her 7th place finish from the 2014 Sochi Games.
“My arm is sore, but I’m so lucky to have an amazing group of practitioners from Freestyle Canada here, helping me heal,” commented Groenewoud. “I feel my body a bit more when I’m stressed, and this is the first time since I hurt myself that I’ve skied four days in a row. I’m nine weeks into my recovery, and it’s getting better. I’m hoping to come back strong for day five tomorrow.”
Since the sport’s official inclusion in the Olympic program at the 2014 Sochi Games, Canada has yet to claim its first Olympic medal in women’s ski halfpipe. Sharpe and Groenewoud will return to the halfpipe tomorrow afternoon with their sights set on the podium.
Also moving onto the women’s halfpipe final are defending World Champion Ayana Onozuka of Japan, defending Olympic Champion Maddie Bowman and number one ranked halfpipe skier Brita Sigourney, both of the United States, and the defending silver medallist Marie Martinod of France.
Next Olympic Events:
- Women’s Halfpipe Finals, February 19, 8:30 PM ET
- Men’s Halfpipe Qualifications, February 19 11 PM ET
- Men’s Halfpipe Finals, February 21 9:30 PM ET