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U.S. skier Maddie Bowman makes history, wins gold in Olympic freestyle halfpipe

Maddie Bowman trains at Sierra-at-Tahoe in Lake Tahoe.
Maddie Bowman trains at Sierra-at-Tahoe in Lake Tahoe.
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Maddie Bowman, who trains at Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort, joined David Wise as a gold medalist, winning the women’s freestyle halfpipe Thursday at the Sochi Olympics.

Wise, from Reno, does his training at Northstar California ski resort.

Two days after Wise was proudly accepting a freestyle halfpipe gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Bowman was stepping on the podium and doing the same.

Wise frequently trains with Sierra-at-Tahoe Olympian Jamie Anderson, a snowboarder who earlier in the week captured a gold medal in slopestyle.

Bowman, a 20-year-old who resides in South Lake Tahoe, won the first Olympic gold medal in women’s freestyle halfpipe after putting down the two highest scoring runs of the night.

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.

Marie Martinod of France took silver (85.40), and Japan’s Ayana Onozuka took bronze (83.20).

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. Sigourney, 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.”