Max Moffatt the lone Canadian to punch ticket to freeski slopestyle final
23-year-old will ski for a medal on Tuesday at 11:08 p.m. ET
Switzerland's Andri Ragettli breezed through Tuesday's freestyle skiing slopestyle qualifier at the Beijing Olympics to advance to the final, while Birk Ruud of Norway followed suit after clean runs of the Great Wall-inspired course.
Ragettli, who made a triumphant return from injury to win the top prize in freeski slopestyle at the X Games Aspen in January, threw down a monster second run that earned him 85.08, putting him ahead of the field in the qualifier.
Ruud, who came in second on Tuesday with his best score of 83.96, gave a confident salute to the crowd after his first run, in which he landed a slick double cork 1440 off the last Great Wall jump, and took it easy in his second run of the day.
American Nicholas Goepper, who won silver in the freeski slopestyle event at the Pyeongchang Games in 2018 and bronze at Sochi in 2014, received 82.51 and came third on Tuesday after he made great use of the course, mastering the technical sections with ease.
Max Moffatt was the only Canadian to qualify for the final, finishing the qualifying round in 11th place with a score of 74.06.
Goepper, 27, asked what his goal was in Beijing, was direct.
"I mean, I want to win a gold medal, that's for sure," the three-time Olympian said.
Goepper has talked openly about how he found it difficult to adjust to the media attention after winning his Sochi medal, and how he turned to alcohol to cope.
He received treatment and said on Tuesday he had learned more in the past eight years about who he is as a person outside of skiing.
"Honestly, the skiing hasn't changed much, the personal stuff has changed a lot," he said.
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The top 12 from the qualifier move on to the final, scheduled for Tuesday at 11:08 p.m. ET, streaming live on CBC Gem, the CBC Sports app and CBC Sports' Beijing 2022 website.
Skiers competed under clear skies at the Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, where the temperature dropped to minus 19 Celsius ahead of the event.
In slopestyle, skiers are judged on a series of tricks and jumps on a course that consists of rails and other obstacles.
With files from CBC Sports, Ben Steiner
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