(L-R) Melvin Moren, Kiernan Fagan and Hunter Henderson pose for a photo on the podium at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 on Jan. 20, 2020 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland - It was a golden day for Team USA that saw freestyle skier Kiernan Fagan and snowboarder Dusty Henricksen stand atop the men’s slopestyle podiums at Leysin Park & Pipe for the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020.
Following two qualification runs in the men’s freestyle skiing slopestyle competition, Fagan and Hunter Henderson secured their spots in the finals.
Fagan kicked off his finals in a big way with a solid run that earned him 87.33 points to put him in first place. It was after that first run that Fagan felt confident about what his future held.
“After my first run, I knew,” Fagan said. “I put down a pretty good run and I believe I went into first place after that so I was pretty stoked. I put down my second run a little bit cleaner and that held through the rest of the competition.”
Fagan nailed his second run of the day to earn 90.66 points, a score that carried him through the third round and to the top of the podium.
Fagan was joined on the podium by teammate Hunter Henderson, who secured the bronze medal in the men’s freestyle slopestyle. After overcoming a tough first run with a second-run score of 88.66, Henderson’s mark held through the third run to earn him a spot on the podium.
“I thought I skied really well and I’m super proud of myself,” Henderson said. “I’m proud of Kiernan [Fagan] and Melvin [Moren from Sweden]. Today was flowing for me - I was in my zone since we got up this morning. I can’t believe I can say I’m a medalist at the Youth Olympic Games. Everything’s been going really well.”
Today went very well for Team USA, indeed.
“We’re teammates and roommates,” Henderson continued. “It’s awesome. I don’t think the result wouldn’t have happened today if it wasn’t for us competing against each other. I definitely think competing with Kiernan and being together has pushed us both a lot.”
Not long after the celebratory cheers for Team USA finished did they start right back up again, as Dusty Henricksen continued the winning ways at Leysin Park & Pipe.
Henricksen carried the momentum of Team USA into his first run, earning 94 points to send him to first place. His second run proved to be the best he had for the day, earning 96.33 points to solidify the gold medal by more than 10 points.
“It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt in my entire life,” Henricksen said. “Nothing in this world can give you this feeling. It’s insane.”
A three-medal day for Team USA in men’s slopestyle will hopefully help carry the momentum for the remaining two days of competition at Leysin. But for now, the trio will enjoy the dominant day.
“I’m kind of in a state of shock right now,” Henderson said. “It’s definitely going to kick in soon, but right now I’m just high on life.”