Olympic Freestyle Skiing 2014: Men's Slopestyle Qualifying Results and Scores

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2014

Joss Christensen of the United States takes a jump during a ski slopestyle training session at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Sergei Grits/Associated Press

The freestyle skiing at the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi produced an exciting morning of competition with the men's slopestyle qualifying section Thursday. 

American Joss Christensen was the standout performer of the day, with two fantastic runs. He scored 91.00 on his first, and then magnificently hit a magical 93.20.

NBC's Skyler Wilder tweeted about the rider's fine performance:

The top 12 competitors from the qualifiers progress and they are as follows:

Olympic Freestyle Skiing: Men's Slopestyle Qualifying (Top 12 Progress)
PlaceNameCountryBest Score
1Josh ChristensenU.S.A.93.20
2Andreas HaatveitNorway88.00
3James WoodsGreat Britain87.20
4Nicholas GoepperU.S.A.87.00
5Gus KenworthyU.S.A.86.40
6Alex Beaulieu-MarchandCanada85.60
7Russell HenshawAustralia84.60
8Oystein BraatenNorway84.20
9Aleksander AurdalNorway83.80
10Josiah WellsNew Zealand83.40
11Henrik HarlautSweden83.20
12Bobby BrownU.S.A.83.00

Andreas Haatveit of Norway was the second-most consistent performer of the qualifiers, posting two scores of 87.40 and 88.00.

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 07:  James Woods of Great Britain practices during a Ski Slopestyle official training session ahead of the the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

British hopeful James Woods had a great first round of 87.20, securing him the third spot. However, he pulled up in his second run with what appeared to be an injury. It seems he should be fine to compete in the final, though.

The BBC's Jonathan Edwards tweeted about Woods' effort:

One of the favourites for the competition is the USA's hot teenage sensation Nick Goepper. The skier, who is the reigning Winter X Games champion, per TeamUSA.org, placed in fourth after a difficult first run, but he rectified any issues and posted a solid 87.00.

He recently said, per TeamUSA.org, about representing his country at Sochi 2014: "It’s a dream come true. It’s super fun. The Olympics add a bit more pressure, but we’re out here trying to get creative and have fun"

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13:  Nicholas Goepper of the United States competes in the Freestyle Skiing Men's Ski Slopestyle Qualification during day six of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (P
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Wilder also tweeted about Goepper's recovery:

It was expected that Goepper would blow away his opponents at Sochi 2014, but this is an open competition now. Christensen's form positions him as the favourite for the gold medal, but anything can happen in such a dynamic sport. 

All four of America's athletes made the top 12 and will compete in the final. 

Despite his run, Woods will likely miss out on a medal. That is not to say he is not good enough, but the niggling injury he seems to be carrying definitely had an impact on this second run. He might just get the opportunity to put one massive performance together and sneak his way into the top three.

As great as Christensen has been on Thursday, expectation is that we will see Goepper prevail and take the gold medal. The 19-year-old has flair and ability beyond his years, and his X Games success shows what a competitor he is.

Can he live with Christensen's consistency? This event is about timing, and not just the jumps. If he hits that huge performance right at the end of the competition he will be untouchable.

The gold medal is Goepper's for the taking. Christensen will be close, and it promises to be a mammoth showdown between the two. A classic Olympic memory is sure to be created.