Sigourney leads U.S. women in Snowmass ski halfpipe, closes in on Olympic bid | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Sigourney leads U.S. women in Snowmass ski halfpipe, closes in on Olympic bid

Austin Colbert
The Aspen Times

Brita Sigourney wants to go back to the Olympics, and she got much closer to making it happen Friday.

The Carmel, California, native finished second in the women's freeskiing halfpipe competition at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix in Snowmass, making her the lone American on the podium. She scored 89.20 on her second run. Canada's Cassie Sharpe (93.20) took the win while Japan's Ayana Onozuka (87) was third.

"It definitely helps my standings for the Olympics, but I think mostly it's just a huge confidence boost," Sigourney said. "Skiing is so mental that it means everything. I'm stoked going into the last Olympic qualifier and I'm feeling really good about my skiing."

Sigourney, a three-time X Games Aspen medalist, went to the Sochi Olympics in 2014, the first year the discipline was an Olympic sport. She took second in qualifying before finishing sixth in finals. American superstar Maddie Bowman won Olympic gold in 2014, followed by France's Marie Martinod in silver and Onozuka in bronze.

Much like with Sigourney's injury-riddled lead up to the 2014 Olympics, it's hardly been smooth sailing heading into Pyeongchang. Prior to Snowmass, her last World Cup podium came in March of 2015 in Tignes, France. She was fourth in the first Olympic qualifier in Mammoth last February, sixth in the Copper Grand Prix and sixth at Dew Tour before finally snagging a podium in Snowmass.

"I'm so thankful that Snowmass was able to pull this off. The pipe definitely transformed in the last few days and it was really good today," Sigourney said. "Snowmass is an awesome venue. I hope we can come back."

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Sigourney's chances at a return trip to the Olympics look good with only one qualifier remaining. While she only has the lone podium — two are required to meet the baseline criteria for the U.S. team — she is tied for second with Devin Logan at 130 points in the Olympic team selection rankings.

Tahoe's Bowman leads the rankings with 140 points. Bowman finished fourth in Friday's Snowmass Grand Prix. She needed to finish first or second to confirm her Olympic team nomination, but remains a virtual lock to compete in South Korea next month.

Logan, who won Olympic silver in slopestyle in 2014, was fifth Friday.

Currently fourth in the Olympic team selection rankings is Annalisa Drew, another 2014 Olympian, with 95 points. Carly Margulies is fifth after finishing seventh in Snowmass.

"To be a two-time Olympian would be awesome," Sigourney said. "Last time in Sochi I knew as soon as I was done that I wanted to do it again. I think it's an addictive experience. It's so much fun. The patriotism — everything about it is just amazing."

acolbert@aspentimes.com

women’s ski halfpipe FINALS RESULTS

1. Cassie Sharpe, CAN, 93.20

2. Brita Sigourney, Monterey, Calif., 89.20

3. Ayana Onozuka, JPN, 87.00

4. Maddie Bowman, South Lake Tahoe, 86.60

5. Devin Logan, West Dover, Vt., 78.60

6. Sabrina Cakmakli, GER, 75.60

7. Carly Margulies, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., 61.20

8. Yurie Watabe, JPN, 15.00

U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM SELECTION RANKINGS

(after 4 of 5 qualifying events)

1. Maddie Bowman, 140*

2. Devin Logan, 130

3. Brita Sigourney, 130

4. Annalisa Drew, 95

5. Carly Margulies, 72

6. Abigale Hansen, 44

7. Jeanee Crane-Mauzy, 43

8. Svea Irving, 36

9. Allison Welsh, 35

10. Anna Gorham, 24

11. Sierra Bowman, 21

*has met minimum qualifying criteria with two podiums