Julia Marino celebrates after the women's snowboard slopestyle final flower ceremony at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb. 6, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.
ZHANGJIAKOU, China – Snowboarder Julia Marino earned Team USA’s first medal at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, scoring a silver-medal finish in women’s slopestyle snowboarding.
Similar to Saturday’s slopestyle qualifiers, Julia Marino used a second-run rebound to push herself ahead at Genting Snow Park. This time, it rewarded the American, who finished in 11th in slopestyle and 10th in big air in 2018, with an Olympic silver medal on Sunday.
New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski Synnott took home gold with a dominant 92.88 run, winning her country’s first gold medal ever at a Winter Games. Australia’s Tess Coady closed out the podium with bronze due to a third-run score of 84.15.
Marino kicked off her competition with what looked to be a really strong first run. Once the Westport, Connecticut, native hit the shark fin feature, however, she lost her landing after attempting a frontside 1080. This pushed her down to ninth on a 12-person field after run one.
The 24-year-old wasn’t fazed by her fall, knowing she had two more runs to land cleanly.
“I know I had three runs, and it’s not as many girls [in the field] so it’s quicker laps,” said Marino after the finals. “So I just kind of tried to stay in the same mindset, reset a little bit and got ready for that. I knew I had more chances to do it, and I knew that I was able to put it down – so it was just about getting those other runs.”
And land that special run she did.
In Marino’s second run, she landed a medal-winning 87.68.
Her run started with a frontside cab 180 and backside 360 on the flat tube into a pretzel 270 off the down tube. She closed out the rails with a switch underflip off the canon rail. Going into the shark fin, she hit a backside 900 followed by a double cab underflip 900 on the wave feature. That run capped off with a crowd-cheering frontside double cork 1080.
The two-time Olympian’s score held the gold-medal spot until Sadowski Synnott’s final run. After the Kiwi rode into the corral, she was embraced by both Marino and Tess in celebration.
“I can’t be disappointed at all [with earning silver],” Marino said. “I just want to see my friends succeed and do well. So, to be a part of that means a lot to me and obviously everyone wants to be on top. That’s everyone’s dream here. That’s why we’re here competing and working our hardest.”
Want to follow Team USA athletes during the Olympic Games Beijing 2022? Visit TeamUSA.org/Beijing-2022-Olympic-Games to view the competition schedule, medal table and results.
Three-time Olympian Jamie Anderson attempted to defend her two-time gold-medal reign (2014 and 2018) but came up short, scoring a 60.78 from her second run. Anderson, 31, fell on her first (22.98) and third runs (36.88), placing her at ninth overall.
The South Lake Tahoe, California, native has won the only gold medals up for grabs since the discipline’s inception at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. Marino was disheartened to see Anderson fail to make the podium but indicated how much support she’s provided as the veteran on the 2022 U.S. Olympic Team.
“I get so much inspiration from Jamie and all the girls,” said Marino of Anderson. “But for Jamie, me and her have been riding together a lot recently, and we’re on the same team. She’s kind of the older, wiser one here and gives me a lot of insight on how to deal with the stress and pressure of these comps because she’s just so experienced in all of it.”
Returning Olympian Hailey Langland competed in the slopestyle finals as well but crashed out in all three runs, resulting in a high score of 48.35 and 11th-place finish.
Snowboard slopestyle action continues for the U.S. men’s team Monday at 11 p.m. ET. Follow to watch as Red Gerard looks to defend his 2018 Olympic gold medal.