- Freestyle Skiing
Preview: Women's slopestyle finals
The first-ever women’s freestyle skiing final nearly immediately follows the qualification and expectations will need to be changed.
The largest change is that Canadian and gold medal favorite Kaya Turski will not be competing in her sport's inaugural final.
Turski took a spill on her first run of qualification, and despite the initial concern to her knee - which underwent an experimental surgery in August to use synthetic tissue to repair a torn ACL in order to allow her to compete sooner than a typical recovery time - it was actually her shoulder that caused an upset on her crash.
"I dislocated my shoulder,” said Turski at the bottom of the slopestyle course following qualification. “I have a loose shoulder and it happens. That’s why it took me a while to get up, I had to put it back in myself.”
That crash was quite the unfortunate turn of events for the four-time X Games champion who was considered to be in the mix for a Canadian sweep of the podium.
“My body is definitely feeling a little worked right now.”
Turski was sure to assure her team still has the talent to take all on the podium saying, “I think [a sweep] is definitely possible. My girls are out there skiing well and I will be out there sending my best energy.”
Compatriot Dara Howell topped the leaderboard at the end of the qualification round with teammate Kim Lamarre next in line and the third remaining Canadian Yuki Tsubota sitting in 4th.
The only non-Canadian to crack the top three was the lone lady competing in women’s freestyle skiing slopestyle from Great Britain, Katie Summerhayes. If Summerhayes stays on pace she will be the second-ever representative from her country to win a medal at any Olympic Winter Games — Jenny Jones won bronze on Sunday in snowboard slopestyle, which also made its Olympic debut.
Down in the fifth position after qualification was American Devin Logan who has potential to take a spot on the podium. Logan will be joined by teammates Julia Krass (8th in qualification) and Keri Herman (11th) in the final. At 31, Herman is the oldest on the team and claims she recently lost her sponsors due to that age — wonder what they are thinking now that she is competing for Team USA in her sport's debut final event in the Olympics.
On the opposite end of the age spectrum, Krass is only 16 years old, and following her teammate Maggie Voisin dropping out earlier in the week after sustaining an injury, she will be the youngest American to ski in the final.
Voisin, 15, was the youngest Winter Olympian since 1972 before twisting her leg after hitting her ski on one of the rails in the top section of the course during a training session. Voisin says the injury is not serious and that she is “very fortunate.”
Voisin was found at the bottom of the course following qualification rooting for her teammates Logan, Herman and Krass.
“They all have certain tricks they can do. They all could pull [a podium upset] out. You never know, it just depends on who’s day it is,” said Voisin with Team USA represented proud on her outerwear while walking with crutches through the crowds of reporters and fans. “I’m so excited to be a part of their team and I can’t wait to cheer them on out here.”