Men's Freestyle Skiing Results Olympics 2022: Big Air Medal Winners

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 9, 2022

Birk Ruud of Norway competes during the men's freestyle skiing big air finals of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Birk Ruud won the Beijing Games' men's freestyle skiing big air event, which made its Winter Olympics debut.

Olympics @Olympics

It would be Ruud not to!<br><br>The Norway flag along for the ride on Birk Ruud’s victory run. 🙌 🇳🇴🥇<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/freestyle?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#freestyle</a> <a href="https://t.co/DzKpTDTg2Q">pic.twitter.com/DzKpTDTg2Q</a>

The Norwegian's two-run score of 187.75 proved to be the best in the 12-person field, with the United States' Colby Stevenson (183.00) and Sweden's Henrik Harlaut (181.00) taking silver and bronze, respectively.

Each of the 12 finalists had three runs, with the top two results combining to serve as their ultimate score.

Here's a look at the final results.

Order of Finish

1. Birk Ruud (Norway): 187.75

2. Colby Stevenson (United States): 183.00

3. Henrik Harlaut (Sweden): 181.00

4. Oliwer Magnusson (Sweden): 178.25

5. Leonardo Donaggio (Italy): 172.00

6. Javier Lliso (Spain): 171.50

7. Jesper Tjader (Sweden): 170.25

8. Alexander Hall (United States): 160.75

9. Evan McEachran (Canada): 115.50

10. Christian Nummedal (Norway): 110.50

11. Mac Forehand (United States): 80.25

12. Tormod Frostad (Norway): 58.50

Source: olympics.com


Thirty-one skiers participated in the qualifying round, with the field getting whittled down to 12.

Ruud finished first in qualifying, and he continued to set the bar in the finals. He posted the single-best individual run on his first go-around, posting 95.75.

Ruud followed that up with 92 points in his second run, and his third and final run ended up being moot after he amassed the gold-medal-winning 187.75-point result.

The 21-year-old has earned four X Games medals in big air (two gold, two silver). He also took silver in slopestyle at the 2019 World Championships. Now he has an Olympic gold medal on his resume.

Stevenson overcame a tough first run (34.75) to post back-to-back runs over 90 points (91.75, 91.25) to vault onto the second spot on the podium.

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

.<a href="https://twitter.com/TeamUSA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamUSA</a>'s Colby Stevenson throwing it down in run 2!<br><br>The men's freeski big air final continues. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WatchWithUS?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WatchWithUS</a><br><br>📺 <a href="https://twitter.com/nbc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nbc</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/peacockTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@peacockTV</a> <br>💻 <a href="https://t.co/2G2aUmjS5U">https://t.co/2G2aUmjS5U</a> <a href="https://t.co/S0tTQDOFfL">pic.twitter.com/S0tTQDOFfL</a>

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

The run that secured Colby Stevenson the Olympic silver medal in men's freeski big air! 🥈<a href="https://twitter.com/TeamUSA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamUSA</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WinterOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WinterOlympics</a> <a href="https://t.co/BWNLC1uwab">pic.twitter.com/BWNLC1uwab</a>

Stevenson has now earned his second silver medal in a major event, having won second at the 2021 World Championships in slopestyle.

Both Ruud and Stevenson experienced personal hardships prior to this point.

Ruud's father died 10 months ago from cancer.

Lukas Weese @Weesesports

In April 2021, 🇳🇴Birk Ruud lost his Dad, Øivind, to cancer.<br><br>Øivind wanted to make sure Ruud was doing what he loved, which was freestyle skiing.<br><br>Nine months later, Ruud wins Olympic Gold in the inaugural Men's Freestyle Skiing Big Air competition.<br><br> What a story. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Beijing2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Beijing2022</a> <a href="https://t.co/0cRnDbAn28">pic.twitter.com/0cRnDbAn28</a>

Stevenson suffered numerous traumatic head and neck injuries after a car crash in May 2016:

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

Colby Stevenson wins SILVER for <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamUSA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamUSA</a> in men's freeski big air! 🥈<br><br>After surviving a brain injury from a car crash in 2016, he is an Olympic medalist at the 2022 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WinterOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WinterOlympics</a>. <a href="https://t.co/cjlri3BK4q">pic.twitter.com/cjlri3BK4q</a>

"Stevenson shattered his skull in 30 places, his neck was 'crushed like an accordion,' along with a broken eye socket and ribs. He was placed in a medically-induced coma for three days," per OlympicTalk last December.

Yet the pair shined in the competition's Olympic debut.

The 30-year-old Harlaut rounded out the podium. He was the competition's most consistent skier, serving as the only one to post scores of 80 or more points on each of his three runs. In fact, Harlaut's "worst run," his first, resulted in an 86. He followed up with 90 points in his second run and 91 for the third.

The Swede is an eight-time X Games gold medalist, with six of those honors occurring in the big air competition. He also won silver at the 2019 World Championships in big air.