One day after a disappointing performance by the American men in the halfpipe, the American women dominated n the women's halfpipe competition at the Sochi Olympics. American underdog Kaitlyn Farrington took home the gold medal. Fellow Americans Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter placed third and fourth, respectively, in the event.
Close at the Top
A mere 1.25 points separated the top four athletes (final standings above). These four really separated themselves from the pack, as the next closest score was an 85.50 posted by Japan's Rana Okada.
Farrington ultimately came out on top after she posted a 91.75 on her second run.
According to NBCOlympics.com, she is still in disbelief:
"I don't think I knew I was going to come here and get a gold medal," she said. "I still don't really believe it."
Her disbelief is no surprise. This is just her first Olympic Games, and she had to overcome the last three gold medalists to walk away victorious.
Underdog Comes out on Top
The 24-year-old from Idaho came in as a long shot to take home the gold.
She came is as a heavy underdog, according to TheSpread.com. Based on the odds, Farrington was picked to finish in sixth with 11-1 odds to win the event, while Clark came in as the favorite with 7-5 odds to win.
According to Houston Mitchell and Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times, fellow American Teter said, "Who would have known she was going to win this thing? I don’t think anybody knew that was coming. Surprise, surprise."
Long Road to Reach the Finals
After failing to qualify for the 2010 Olympic Games, Farrington had a long way to go just to make it to the finals once she arrived in Sochi.
Her original goal was simply to qualify for the finals.
According to Mitchell and Dillman, after her victory, Farrington said, "I was hoping to make finals and that was kind of my main goal."
"Then during finals, I was kind of like, if I land a good run, I might be on the podium. And so to come out on top, I just can't believe it."
She did not even place in the top three spots during qualifying, which is why she had to make it through the semifinals to get to this point.
American Women Continue to Dominate the Halfpipe
American women have now won the halfpipe gold medal in four of the past five Olympic Games. They have also always come home with at least one medal since the event was introduced in 1998.
Kelly Clark may not have won gold this time around, but she noticed something all three American women have in common according to ESPN.
"We're the gold medal club," Clark said. "We've all got one of these now. Well done, ladies."
Americans have now won six of the nine women's halfpipe medals over the last three Olympic Games. They will look to continue their dominance at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.
Clark and Teeter will both be over 30 by the time Pyeongchang rolls around, but at just 24 years old, Farrington appears to be the future of American snowboarding.
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