Maddie Bowman made history in Sochi, becoming the first Olympic gold medalist in women’s halfpipe skiing.
The South Lake Tahoe, California, native now has an opportunity to defend it.
Bowman qualified for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Friday after the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Snowmass in Colorado, which served as the fourth of five Olympic qualifying stops for women’s halfpipe skiing.
The 23-year-old’s quest to return to the Olympics and defend the gold medal she won in 2014 started last February, when she placed second in the first qualifying event at Mammoth Mountain, California.
Bowman then placed fifth at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix in Copper Mountain, Colorado, and third at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colorado, which secured the second podium she needed in the selection events.
In Snowmass, 2014 U.S. Olympian Brita Sigourney finished second with a score of 89.20 to earn her first podium of the selection events and her best world cup result in over four years. Bowman was fourth.
Bowman, known for her technical prowess, was one of two U.S. women who had the opportunity to solidify their place on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team in Friday’s competition, along with Logan, who was second in Copper, but the 2014 Olympic slopestyle silver medalist would finish fifth in Snowmass and still needs one more podium at the final selection event held next week in Mammoth Mountain, California.
With only one event remaining, it is only Sigourney and Logan who can secure a second podium finish and be one of three U.S. women to qualify for the Olympic team through this method.
Since halfpipe skiing made its Olympic debut in 2014, the sport has continued to grow, and Bowman has remained among the best of the best.
She has won four X Games medals, including two golds, since Sochi and finished fifth at the 2017 world championships.