U.S. sweeps medals in ski slopestyle


The Sports Network

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Joss Christensen claimed the first-ever Olympic gold in men's ski slopestyle on Thursday, leading a medal sweep for the United States.

Christensen won the competition with a top score of 95.80 in the final round. The 22-year-old from Park City, Utah, also had the best mark in Thursday's qualification round.

Gus Kenworthy claimed silver for the Americans with a score of 93.60 and Nicholas Goepper completed the podium sweep with a mark of 92.40.

It was the third time the U.S. swept a Winter Olympics event. Americans previously claimed gold, silver and bronze in men's figure skating in 1956 and in men's snowboard halfpipe in 2002.

"I can't really believe it right now, this is pretty crazy. It has been just an amazing day. I am shocked. I am stoked to be up here with my friends. America, we did it," said Christensen.

The memorable day for the U.S. marked the first time Olympic medals were awarded in men's ski slopestyle. The women's event debuted on Tuesday with Canada's Dara Howell taking gold and American Devin Logan earning silver.

The U.S. won gold in both the men's and women's snowboarding slopestyle events earlier at the Sochi Games. Sage Kostenburg claimed gold for the American men and Jamie Anderson won the women's competition.

Christensen, who finished sixth in slopestyle at last month's X Games in Aspen, Colo., won gold in his first appearance at the Olympics by notching a 95.80 in his opening run of the finals. With gold already wrapped up, Christensen added a 93.80 his second time down the course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, giving him the two best scores of the medal round.

Kenworthy was in 10th place after his first run before turning in his silver medal effort in his second attempt. That score left Goepper, a three-time X Games medalist, settling for bronze.

Norway's Andreas Haatveit placed fourth behind Goepper and James Woods of Great Britain was fifth.

American Bobby Brown, a four-time winner of X Games gold, was ninth. Canada's Alex Beaulieu-Marchand finished last in the 12-man final round.

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