June 24, 2018

Sharpe leads halfpipe qualifying

21 February 2018, 06:33 | Kristopher Drake

Double Canadian gold

Canada's Cassie Sharpe takes top spot in women's halfpipe qualifying in Pyeongchang

Soaring into the sunshine, Sharpe captured Canada's eighth gold medal of the Pyeongchang Games to edge out Marie Martinod, who now has two Olympic silver medals, also largely thanks to Burke.

Sharpe set the tone early in the final, getting a 94.40 in her first run down the halfpipe and following it up with a 95.80 in the second.

All three skiers had recorded two runs of more than 90 points in qualification and they brought a similar level of consistency to a final that saw the top five qualifiers repeat their order in the medals showdown.

After Sochi, Bowman suffered a torn ACL and microfracture to her right knee suffered in February of 2015.

And yet, her legacy lives on.

In that competition, Sharpe was forced to compete with a pole taped to her hand, and Americans Maddie Bowman and Brita Sigourney finished ahead of her. She was sixth at the 2014 Olympics after overcoming knee and shoulder surgeries simply to qualify for Sochi.

Canadian Cassie Sharpe looks like the class of the Olympic women's ski halfpipe field, based on qualifying Monday.

Cassie Sharpe of Canada celebrates her gold medal in the women’s halfpipe skiing final at the Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang South Korea Tuesday Feb. 20 2018
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"The pride for me isn't in the medal, it's in that she did all she could do on that day", said Stuart Robinson, who coached Sharpe at Mount Washington on Vancouver Island from 2009 to 2014. She came out of retirement when Burke knocked on her door in 2011 and told her it was time to start training again because halfpipe skiing was taking its show to the Olympics.

Sharpe held the advantage of being the last skier in each run.

"We tried to go there and really soak in the environment and the energy that is the Olympics", said Poje. It was there she realized her passion - and talent - was in skiing. The Carmel native spent her days as a kid commuting from Carmel to Lake Tahoe to ski at Alpine Meadows. After a nervous wait that saw both USA athletes standing together at the foot of the pipe, Sigourney was awarded 91.60 to take third by 0.80 points.

According to her U.S. Ski and Snowboard bio, Bowman burst onto the scene her senior year in high school: "Her 2012 breakout season featured podiums at almost every major event".

The three-time world champions and ice dancing partners for two decades scored 83.67 points in Monday's short dance to "Sympathy for the Devil", "Hotel California", and "Oye Como Va", to sit first at the Pyeongchang Games. "She then topped it all off with her first AFP halfpipe title".

The 28-year-old from Calgary broke her arm in the shoulder joint just nine weeks ago and it's not yet healed. "She entered the worldwide halfpipe scene in 2011 while still in high school and made her first World Cup podium with a bronze at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., in 2012".

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