Colby Stevenson felt the excellence of his run as he hit the landing area Saturday in the Snow Rodeo FIS World Cup in Calgary, Alberta.
He lifted his arms into the air triumphantly and pumped a fist as he finished off a run that produced a score of 88.60.
That first run Saturday afternoon in Calgary launched Stevenson to his third consecutive world cup podium of the season, but left him just short of his first world cup win since 2017. Andri Ragettli of Switzerland stole the win away from Stevenson, nailing a score of 88.73 on his second run.
Nick Goepper, a two-time Olympic medalist, captured third place with a strong second run featuring a pair of double-cork 1260s. He received a score of 86.36 and reached a world cup podium for the first time this season.
Stevenson entered the final as the skier to beat after a posting a 93.25 to win the qualifying round on Thursday and lead five Americans into the 16-man final. He went for the win on his second run in the final, but fell and lost both of his skis on a jump.
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Reaching the podium has indeed been standard fare for Stevenson this season. In three world cup competitions, he has finished third, second and now second again. He also won a gold medal in his X Games debut in Aspen, Colorado. Tied for third in the slopestyle standings going into Calgary, Stevenson moved up into second place alone.
Willie Borm finished sixth with a score of 80.13, leading the three other Americans in the final.
Marin Hamell was the lone American in the women’s final. She finished sixth with a top run of 66.96.
Ailing Eileen Gu of China, formerly a U.S. competitor, won the women’s event with a score of 89.18, completing a world cup sweep in Calgary. She also won the halfpipe skiing final on Friday.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic and Paralympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.