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Olympic gold medalist Maddie Bowman clearly best freestyle skier in the world

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A Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort product, the 20-year-old Maddie Bowman helped solidify Lake Tahoe’s standing as a region that producers excellent halfpipe freestyle skiers.

Bowman joined Reno’s David Wise as a freestyle halfpipe gold-medal winner. One of the coolest and lasting moments of the 2014 Winter Olympics was Bowman atop Wise’s shoulders, draped in the American flag, celebrating her gold-medal victory.

Her second run, which included two 900 spins and a backwards 700, scored 89.00. Bowman had an 85.80 on her first run.

“The way I’ve gotten here is taking it one day and one competition at a time and having absolutely as much fun as I could. And hey, it worked out,” said Bowman, who has won gold medals at the past two Winter X-Games.

Three of Bowman’s American teammates joined her in the final, but each fell at least once and failed to make the podium. U.S. teammates Brita Sigourney (6th), Annalisa Drew (9th) and Angeli Vanlaanen (11th) each crashed in finals.

The humble Bowman offered congratulations afterward to Sigourney, who fell hard and scraped her face on the bottom of the pipe, leaving a nasty gash in her nose.

Sigourney’s coaches and medical staff rushed out to help her. Right behind them in her ski boots was the woman wearing bib No. 2 – Bowman.

“Maddie is so funny. She said that she wanted me to win and that she’s so proud of me. I told her to shut up because she deserves this more than anyone,” Sigourney said. “It was the most technical run out of any girl skiing. It’s more technical than any run any girl has done all year, plus it’s got amplitude and style. She’s just got it all.”