Olympian Alex Hall and newcomer Eileen Gu finished first and second, respectively, for the United States in Saturday’s men's and women's world cup slopestyle skiing competition in Font Romeu, France.
Hall had not only the best run, but the best two runs of the day. His first attempt earned him a score of 90.59 that put him in the top spot and his second run score of 92.11 was even better. Both proved unbeatable, with Canada’s Philippe Langevin coming the closest to finish in second place with a score of 90.27.
This was Hall’s second world cup podium of the season — after finishing second in big air at Modena, Italy, in November — and his first win. His only other world cup victory — and podium finish — came in March in slopestyle in Silvaplana, Switzerland. Hall was also second at December’s Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colorado.
The 20-year-old from Park City, Utah, was 16th in slopestyle at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. He won silver at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016.
Mac Forehand finished fifth at 87.17 with two-time Olympic medalist Nick Goepper in 12th with a 76.51.
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Gu also had two strong runs, scoring a 72.98 on her first to land in podium position then improving on that with her second run score of 78.03 to jump into second place. She finished just barely off the top spot, behind Switzerland’s Sarah Hoefflin, who had a winning score of 78.52.
Gu, one of the two youngest competitors in the field of 20 at age 15, is listed as a rookie on both the slopestyle and halfpipe teams on U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s website. The San Francisco native was named to the U.S. team that went to the FIS Junior Freeskiing & Snowboard World Championships Aug. 24-Sept. 8 at Cardrona in New Zealand, competing in both events. She finished fifth in both.
Her only other slopestyle world cup result was 11th at Stubai, Austria, in November.
Olympian Caroline Claire was fifth and two-time Olympian Maggie Voisin was seventh for the U.S.
High winds postponed qualifying on Friday for both men and women. The women competed in a two-run final while the men had both qualifying and finals on Saturday.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.