ASPEN, COLORADO (January 28, 2012) – It was a two-medal day for Canada under beautiful sunny skies at the X Games superpipe today as Rosalind Groenewoud took gold and Noah Bowman earned the silver medal.
Groenewoud said it was the love and support she felt from the ski community in the wake of Sarah Burke’s death that boosted her to her first X Games gold here today in the halfpipe.
The five-time X Games competitor whose previous best result was bronze said, “I just let all that love lift me up, I definitely had my teammate with me today, she’s been with me for so long,” said Groenewoud in the finish area as she raised her ski and added, “for Sarah.”
It was a bittersweet moment for Calgary’s Groenewoud, who said she would have preferred if her close friend and teammate had been there in the finish line to give her a hug.
Wearing her signature Canada maple leaf bandana and bright red lipstick, Groenewoud boosted an enormous 14-foot straight air off her first hit in the pipe on her winning run. She followed it by landing her first unnatural 720 in her X Games career.
Silver medalist American Maddie Bowman joined a plethora of women here who pulled off 900s (two-and-a-half revolutions). She scored 92.00. Brita Sigourney, also of the US, scored 90.66 and performed a difficult 1080 – a trick that Burke pioneered for women.
“There was a lot of great skiing by the girls today and it’s definitely Sarah’s example. The best way to do her legacy justice is to push ourselves and so, that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Groenewoud.
Edmonton, Alta’s Keltie Hansen was sixth today at 86.33; Dara Howell of Huntsville, Ont. was 7th at 70.66; and, Calgary’s Megan Gunning was 8th at 49.00.
On the men’s side, Bowman came into the event a true underdog. In fact, the Calgary-native was second alternate until he got a call two-hours prior to Friday’s elimination round saying that he had a spot.
With nothing to lose, Bowman attempted a trick in the elimination round that no one else is doing, and one that he had only learned the day before – an ‘alley-oop dub nine’. That, and the rest of his run, was enough to earn him a spot in today’s finals where he successfully landed it again.
His bravado impressed the judges and the crowd who began chanting “Noah” before his second and third runs. And it earned Bowman the silver medal at 90.00.
The self-effacing, shaggy-haired 19-year-old said, “Well, I just learned that trick a couple of days ago and it seems to be working out, so I’m going to stick with it.” He added,
Noah was flanked by Americans David Wise and Torin Yater-Wallace on the podium, who scored 93.00 and 89.66, respectively.
Edmonton, Alberta’s Mike Riddle landed in 7th after he pulled his ski off mid-air on his final run.
Justin Dorey of Vernon, B.C. dislocated his shoulder after a nasty fall on his second run. He finished the day in 8th.
Penticton’s Matt Margetts and Calgary’s Kris Atkinson did not progress to finals.
FIS World Cup freestyle action continues in Calgary tomorrow with the Canada Post Grand Prix Aerials event.