Cassie Sharpe has golden start to World Cup freeski season
Calgary halfpipe skier takes top spot on New Zealand podium
Canada's Cassie Sharpe began the World Cup halfpipe skiing season the same way she finished last season – with a gold medal.
Sharpe, from Comox, B.C., won the season-opening event in New Zealand on Friday, using a strong second run of 91.00 points to beat out Estonia's Kelly Sildaru (90.20) and Marie Martinod of France (84.40).
Sildaru posted a first-run score of 90.20 to sit atop the standings before Sharpe boosted her amplitude and cleaned up her grabs on the second run to claim the gold medal.
"I knew what I had to do," Sharpe said. "Kelly came out there with a really strong run, I just wanted to boost, get all my grabs and get ahead of her because she had a great run. I'm stoked, the judges saw what I was trying to do and I'm really, really happy."
It's the third win in Sharpe's World Cup career.
On the men's side, fellow Canadian Simon D'Artois will take home bronze after Friday's final.
The Whistler, B.C., native's top score of 88.40 was behind American Kevin Ferreira (93.40) and France's Kevin Rolland (90.20).
"The highlight was just putting it all together and finishing strong, I'm really happy I was able to do that," D'Artois said.