Once again style won out in Sochi as Kaitlyn Farrington’s switch back 7’s, air-fakies and frontside rodeos clinched her the gold medal, just 0.25 points above Torah Bright and one point above team mate Kelly Clark.
Having only just pulled it together to make it into the semi finals, she went on to dominate the second round before rocketing to the top on her second run. She then had to watch six other riders drop after her, the last four including three previous Olympic gold medallists but none managed to top her score of 91.75; THAT’S a good podium to be sat on top of. Plus it’s a second gold medal for team Gnu, the United States of Weird.
Some might say that Torah Bright was robbed after she unveiled a jaw-dropping McTwist on her first hit, then going into an air-fakie to switch back 7 and finishing with an alley-oop backside rodeo. She was going bigger and was arguably smoother, but she didn’t seem to mind getting a silver so why should we? As always she was just stoked to be riding a snowboard, the way it should be; her and Kaitlyn’s medals are proof that you can win and have fun all at the same time. See you in the boarder X Torah!
Even famed-game face Kelly Clark looked relaxed and happy on the podium; one gold and two bronzes from no less than FOUR Olympic games is a huge achievement, hopefully she can happily retire from competition now.
Hannah Teter – the 2006 winner – also was looking good but was just squeezed off the podium at the last minute. Another multi-Olympian, no one can say she deserved less than where she ended up.
Rana Okada also deserves a massive shout for coming in fifth, the J-Pan style was present with this one and we wouldn’t be surprised if Ayumu Hirano looks over from his next Olympic podium to see her standing just as high.
Perhaps the best news was the destruction of the Chinese robot halfpipe style, after all three women in the final put down the same run they faltered when it came to throwing down bigger tricks.
Their collective run – backside air to back-to-back 5s then 7s finishing with a frontside air – left them looking like something out of the Midwich Cuckoos; hopefully the next time we see them in Pyeongchang they’ll have learnt to have fun on a snowboard. And how to grab between their bindings…
Other than the eventual winner there were no huge surprises; we did expect better things from Queralt Castellet, but she has another couple of Olympics ahead so no worries eh?
And that’s it for freestly snowboarding at the ‘Lympics! After a solid week of 15 hour days live blogging the shit out of Sochi team Whitelines can now leave the war room as it’s now become and sleep. Maybe. There’s more saying we’re hating on Shaun to be shouted at by. Happy ‘Lympics!
Women’s Halfpipe Finals