From a field of 22 competitors representing 12 nations, the top 12 halfpipe snowboarders advanced to the final on Wednesday (Thursday morning in China) at the Beijing Olympics.
Unsurprisingly, Chloe Kim, the heavy favorite for this event, earned the top score of 87.75 as the top qualifier going into the final. However, she was the only member of the American team, which also included Maddie Mastro, Tessa Maud and Zoe Kalapos, to advance to the final.
Reading: Women’s halfpipe snowboard final
kim, who became the youngest snowboarder to win olympic gold in 2018 at the pyeongchang games when she was 17, finds herself in the high-pressure position of potentially being the first american to win gold at these olympic games.
after day 5, usa. uu. was tied for seventh with six total medals, but this is the most events the team has entered in any winter game without winning a gold medal.
Historically strong in snowboarding, this was the first year since the slope-style discipline was introduced at the 2014 Sochi Games that an American did not make the podium. And while Shaun White is the defending halfpipe Olympic gold medalist from 2018, he is not the favorite to repeat this year.
So it’s up to Kim, the only woman with two 1080s in her career, to write down what she knows she has in her bag (plus the three new tricks she said she hopes to debut in Beijing).
Let’s take a closer look at what to look for in the finale, including odds and signature rider tricks.
Women’s snowboard halfpipe final start list
1. language qiu, china
2. leilani ettel, germany
3. brooke dhondt, canada
4. elizabeth hosking, canada
5. berenice wicki, switzerland
6. jiayu liu, china
7. ruki tomita, japan
8. sena tomita, japan
9. queralt castellet, spain
10. cai xuetong, china
11. mitsuki ono, japan
12. chloe kim, united states
women’s snowboard halfpipe final odds
cai xuetong +600
keralt castellet +850
sena tomita +1400
women’s snowboard halfpipe schedule
date: Wednesday, Feb. 9 (Thursday in China)
time: 8:30 p.m. and
live stream: peacock, nbcolympics.com
Kim, 21, didn’t need to attempt her best trick, a 1080 taxi (change fronts, three full rotations), to advance to the women’s half pipe final. a 900 cab and 540 switch backside highlighted her first run, earning her the highest score of 87.75 that she held throughout qualifying.
Breadth is heavily rewarded by the judges, and Kim reached almost 13 feet in his first run.
While he crashed in his second race attempting a backside 720, only the higher score of the two races counts. there are three races in the final, counting the highest score.
“I’m really excited about my first race. Honestly, I just wanted to take the second race and try a different line,” Kim said after the qualifier, according to olympics.com. “I’ve never practiced it before, so I’m not surprised I fell.”
in fact, kim is doing everything he can to introduce these new tricks in games. He had them ready to go on the Rocío tour in December, where he finished first, but he couldn’t incorporate them into his career.
mitsuki ono from japan and cai xuetong from china ranked second and third with 83.75 and 83.25, respectively.
cai is ranked no. 1 in the women’s halfpipe and she has the best chance of botching Kim’s attempt to defend her Olympic gold. A two-time world champion, the Chinese star won a world cup title in December 2021 and finished runner-up in the USA. uu. grand prix at mammoth mountain in january. At the January Laax Open, she placed seventh.
Castellet, which had a great air of encumbrance in its best qualifying race, is led by two-time Olympic silver medalist Danny Kaas. The 32-year-old has stood on the podium in each of her last seven contests.
although the us has a handful of regulation-size 22-foot halfpipes that cyclists can train on, the Olympic halfpipe is longer (623 feet, compared to 580 feet for American 22-foot halfpipes), which means cyclists who are used to having five shots as they smash through the walls of the half pipe, need to work a sixth trick in their Olympic runs.
and the judges will sanction them if they don’t.
the women’s final, which will take place on thursday morning in china, will air on wednesday night in the united states.
quotes via draftkings sportsbook.if you or someone you know has a gambling problem, you can access crisis counseling and referral services by calling 1-800-gambler (1-800-426- 2537) (il).problem with the game? call 1-800-gambler (nj/wv/pa), 1-800-9-with-it (in), 1-800-522-4700 (co), 1-800-bets off (ia), or call or text the tn red line: 800-889-9789 (tn).21+. nj/pa/wv/in/ia/co/il/tn only. in association with meadows & casino. eligibility restrictions apply. see draftkings.com/sportsbook for more information.