Olympic Slopestyle 2014: Charting Medalists and Highlights from Day 6 Action

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIFebruary 13, 2014

Men's ski slopestyle medalists from the United States Gus Kenworthy, left, silver, Joss Christensen, center, gold, and Nicholas Goepper, bronze, right, pose for photographers at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
Gero Breloer/Associated Press

The men had their shot at the slopestyle event on Thursday after North America swept the ladies' competition just one day prior, with Canada taking gold and bronze and the United States earning the silver medal.

After the qualification round on Day 6 of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, it looked as though there was a good chance for the men to repeat what the ladies were able to pull off.

Three riders from the United States and one from Canada made up four of the top six spots heading into the finals. The two finals runs were intense, as some athletes flourished and others faltered.

Once the dust settled, it was the United States that came out on top, sweeping the podium:

Men's Olympic Slopestyle Podium
GoldJoss ChristensenUnited States95.80
SilverGus KenworthyUnited States93.60
BronzeNicholas GoepperUnited States92.40

With those three medals now secured by Team USA, here's a look at how the overall medal standings are shaking out:

American skier Joss Christensen had the day of his life on Thursday, as he rattled off an opening run in the finals that would not be surpassed by any member of the 12-man field. His score of 95.80 was good enough to earn him the gold medal, effectively making his second run more of a victory lap.

Even though he didn't need to turn out a single jump during his second run, he elected to go at it once again. His off-axis jumps and flawless spins shined once again, as he earned a score of 93.80. The only score that was higher than that during the finals runs was his own.

In the wake of the event, he expressed his delight with his performance and his excitement for his teammates who earned spots on the podium next to him in an interview with ESPN.com:

I am shocked. I am stoked to be up here with my friends. America, we did it. Just competing for the U.S. is so cool. We're all representing. All our stuff has 'USA' on it. It's not like a normal team that we're used to. We can be proud to be on this team. Today was a good showing of our sport. Hopefully world recognizes how much fun we're having.

Christensen also explained who he was competing for on Thursday. "I hope I made my father proud. Through all the injuries I've had, he's always supported me and never said stop. I hope he's looking down and smiling. Did it for him," he said.

Later, Christensen remained on cloud nine, as he tweeted about his accomplishment:

Gus Kenworthy and Nicholas Goepper rounded out the sweep for the Americans, earning silver and bronze medals, respectively.

Kenworthy faltered during his first run in the finals, finding himself in 10th place after receiving a score of 31.00. However, he was able to right the ship on his next run, completing a virtually flawless performance and earning a score of 93.60.

It seemed as though Goepper had a shot of passing Christensen, as he recorded a solid 92.40 on his first run. Unfortunately, he was not able to capitalize on his early momentum and earned a score of 61.80 on his second run. Still, his first run was good enough to afford him the bronze medal.

Goepper expressed to ESPN.com his delight over the team's performance. "I feel amazing. I think today was the best display of skiing we have ever seen in our sport, so I am so happy," he said.

It may have been the best display of skiing that has ever taken place—especially for the Americans. They put together dazzling performances that earned them all a place in Olympic history, as the podium sweep was just the third that Team USA has ever produced.

These athletes have every right to be proud of such a magnificent accomplishment.