Canadian Cassie Sharpe wins X-Games superpipe gold
Freestyle skiers' lowest score would have won her gold
Cassie Sharpe managed to do something a Canadian hasn't done in four years. And she did it with a stress fracture in her back.
The 23-year-old from Comox, B.C., won superpipe gold this weekend a the X-Games in Oslo, Norway.
This is the first time Canada has won this X-Games event since Rosalind Groenewoud finished first in 2012.
"The X-Games is the biggest contest for our sport other than the Olympics, so it's been crazy to even be on the podium let alone win," Sharpe told CBC Sports. "It's absolutely surreal."
Sharpe's best result was in her second run when she scored 88.33. American Maddie Bowman finished second with a score of 85.33, and Ayana Onozuka from Japan claimed bronze with 83.66.
Sharpe came into this X-Games looking to put it all on the line.
"Just go as big as you can, as hard as you can, and with the best grabs, best amplitude, everything I can do to my best abilities," said Sharpe. "It's like going from the tricks that I know how to do to doing the tricks that I know how to do at a very high amplitude.
"So I think just making that switch, instead of just doing it on an everyday basis, but doing it in an adrenaline competition-mode and just ending it as big as I can, I think that was really what set me apart today."
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/XGamesOslo?src=hash">#XGamesOslo</a> Ski SuperPipe<br>Gold – Cassie Sharpe 🇨🇦<br>Silver – Maddie Bowman 🇺🇸<br>Bronze – Ayana Onozuka 🇯🇵 <a href="https://t.co/2nBN5hha70">pic.twitter.com/2nBN5hha70</a>—@XGames
3 exceptional runs
Sharpe's lowest score of the day at 86.00 would have secured her gold. It was on her first run, where she slipped the deck, giving her a little trouble at the end of the course. But 86.00 was a high enough score for Sharpe, and she managed to clean up her second run.
"[The high score] kind of gave me the confidence to boost even harder on the second run," said Sharpe. "And so I did exactly that, I tried to boost and do everything clean, grab all my tricks, and not clip the deck.
"And that really worked for me; I beat my own score which is always an amazing feeling."
In her third run she scored 87.33, but her second run won the competition.
"It's surreal," Sharpe said of her performance. "I walk into my hotel room and I've got an X-Games gold medal sitting on my bed. It's almost as if it's a dream."
Sharpe's next competition is in Tignes, France on March 11 and 12 for the World Tour final, the last event of the season. As she's still dealing with a stress fracture, her approach will be similar to the one for the X-Games.
"I'm going to do the same run I know how to do and hopefully keep taking it up and up on the amplitude and just make it clean and look good. I think that's my goal for this year," said Sharpe.
"And next year, hopefully come back with some new tricks and a fresh run."