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Americans sweep slopestyle medals

How does someone go from barely making the U.S. Olympic team to earning a gold medal in the men’s ski slopestyle competition? It seems the clean slate competitors are provided at the Olympics and a series of dizzying combination of twists and flips will do the trick – at least it did for Joss Christensen.

American men on the medals' podium
American men on the medals' podiumPhoto by Joe Scarnici
First 1-2-3 sweep by Americans in the Winter Games
First 1-2-3 sweep by Americans in the Winter GamesPhoto by Joe Scarnici

Christensen, who had already posted the top score in the qualifying round, put together the run of his life when he posted a monster score of 95.80 on his first pass through the slopestyle course in Thursday’s finals. Each of the 12 freeskiers in the finals had a chance to top his score, but none could manage it.

The American men swept the podium as Gus Kenworthy won silver and Nick Goepper took bronze. It is only the third time in Winter Games history the Americans have finished 1-2-3 in any event.

Team USA continues to capitalize on the sports debuting on the Winter Games menu. Not only did the American men sweep the slopestyle medals, American Devin Logan won the gold in the women’s competition Tuesday.

Twelve new events were added for the Sochi Games. The United States has already netted seven medals from the new competitions already, including four golds – all on the slopestyle course. There are 18 more medals available in new events, including the luge mixed relay, the biathlon mixed relay, ski halfpipe and the snowboarding parallel slalom.