Maddie Bowman only stands 5-foot-1, but in the Winter X Games superpipe, she’s head and shoulders above the rest of the field. On Friday, the 2014 halfpipe skiing Olympic gold medalist earned an unprecedented fourth straight X Games superpipe gold medal.
Bowman grabbed the lead after her first run, earning a score of 85.33 for a clean performance. Her second run was even stronger, blowing away the competition with 87.33. As the last athlete to take her third run, Bowman was already assured the gold medal before she dropped into the pipe for the final time. But instead of simply taking a victory lap, she put up the highest score of the night, a huge 89.00.
Bowman’s scores were so dominant that no other skier was able to beat even her lowest. Ayana Ozuna of Japan took silver with an 85.00, and fellow U.S. Olympian Annalisa Drew took bronze with 83.00.
For Drew, the bronze medal was her first career X Games podium. At the 2015 event, she competed one week after surgery to repair her shattered collarbone and managed a sixth-place finish.
Though Bowman has been the top dog in women’s halfpipe skiing for several years, this event proved to be something of a comeback. She underwent knee surgery in February 2015 and had only one other competition under her belt this season.
“It feels so good,” Bowman said of her return to the top of the X Games podium. “Injuries are really hard, anyone who fights through them knows. So to be back here and back at my favorite X Games event, it’s awesome and I’m so happy.”