South Lake’s Maddie Bowman falls short in bid to win 2nd gold medal
Maddie Bowman let it all hang out Tuesday in South Korea, but could not put down a complete run in the skiing halfpipe final at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
The South Lake Tahoe resident fell on all three runs, on the very last move each time, and failed to defend her gold medal.
“I didn’t want to put down a safety run, so I went for it,” she said. “I sat back twice and then I frickin’ sent her and over-rotated a little bit.”
Bowman’s helmet splintered into two pieces after crashing and slamming the back of head on her third run.
She lay in the center of the halfpipe for a few minutes afterward as medical staff examined her. Her mom also jogged over just as she got to her feet. She skied the rest of the way down on one ski as tears streamed down her face.
“Hop off your toes,” she said she was thinking going into her final run. “It’s OK when it comes down to the last run. I like that pressure. I like how it feels. No matter what, you’re going to get emotional after it.”
Team USA’s Brita Sigourney won the bronze medal while fellow American Annalisa Drew finished just off the podium in fourth.
In the finish area after the race, Bowman did get emotional as she talked about how proud she was of her good friend and teammate, Sigourney, who won her first Olympic medal.
“I’m so excited for Brita,” Bowman said. “She’s worked so hard for this and has wanted it so bad. I’ve watched her through the ups and downs and it’s just awesome to watch her walk away with a medal.”
Canada’s Cassie Sharpe won the gold medal and France’s Marie Martinod won silver.
Four years ago, the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia marked the debut of halfpipe skiing as an Olympic sport, as well as Bowman’s debut at the Games. She brought gold home to Lake Tahoe.
This week, another fellow South Shore native also will compete for a gold medal.
South Lake Tahoe’s Jamie Anderson qualified for the women’s snowboard big air final Monday in South Korea.
Earlier this month, Anderson won gold in women’s snowboard slopestyle, making Olympic history and cementing her legacy as one of the all-time greats.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to include quotes reported by Ed Stoner, who is leading coverage of the Winter Olympics in South Korea for Swift Communications, the Tahoe Daily Tribune’s parent company. Reach Ed at email@example.com.
CORRECTION: This story has been corrected to include the correct spelling of Sigourney.