The freestyle skiing segment of the 2018 Winter Olympics will draw to a close on Thursday as the women's ski cross final will present the last medal event left in this portion of the Games.
Canada travel to Pyeongchang in South Korea hoping to maintain their 100 percent winning record in the women's ski cross, too, having clinched gold in each of its two runnings since making its debut at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, Canada.
Ashleigh McIvor won the inaugural gold medal presented in the women's ski cross before Marielle Thompson and Kelsey Serwa completed a dramatic one-two on the podium at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia.
The qualifiers will begin at 8 p.m. ET/1 a.m. GMT (Friday, February 23) as racers compete in batches of four, taking on the ups and downs of Bogwang Phoenix Park in a bid to make it through the four stages and into the big final.
Read on for a preview of the women's ski cross, complete with full schedule for the event and how you can tune into the action.
Date: Thursday, February 22 (Friday, February 23 in UK and Pyeongchang)
TV Info: NBC Universal (U.S.), BBC and Eurosport (UK)
8 p.m. ET/1 a.m. GMT (Friday, February 23), Qualifiers
8:35 p.m. ET/1:35 a.m. GMT (Friday, February 23), Quarter-finals
8:59 p.m. ET/1:59 a.m. GMT (Friday, February 23), Semi-finals
9:15 p.m. ET/2:15 a.m. GMT (Friday, February 23), Small final
9:20 p.m. ET/2:20 a.m. GMT (Friday, February 23), Big final (Medal)
A lot of attention will be fixed on the Canadian pair of Thompson and Serwa coming into Thursday's meet, the pair clamouring to match Sochi's podium domination after each suffering serious knee injuries.
Scott Stinson of the National Post explained how on Monday Thompson completed her first "serious" practice run since rupturing both the ACL and MCL in her right knee in October.
It's a long way from the 21-year-old who won gold in Sochi four years ago:
But Thompson, now 25, remains upbeat and couldn't help but beam after completing that run on Monday: "I think you guys could probably tell I was stoked. I couldn't take the smile off my face, from the bottom, all the way up the lift. It was nice just to get back out there and put down a couple of solid runs."
The presence of a team-mate may not sound all that essential in a sport pitting four individuals against one another, but Thompson explained to Yahoo recently why her dynamic with Serwa can be essential:
Serwa missed much of the 2017 season after falling hard in December 2016, although her longer spell out of action and the preparation that comes with it could put her in better stead than Thompson as things stand.
Both racers are looking to follow the example set by compatriot Brady Leman, whom they saw blaze a trail to gold in the final of this year's men's ski cross, per Serwa's Instagram:
The only member of the Sochi 2014 podium who won't be present this year is Sweden's Anna Holmlund, another who suffered a big injury since that achievement. Philip O'Connor of Reuters recently reported the bronze medal finisher from Sochi is now walking again after she was placed in a medically induced coma following an accident in December 2016.
In her place, the Swedish duo of Lisa Andersson and Sandra Naeslund will look to replace Holmlund in the top three, and O'Connor detailed the inspiration she provides those getting ready to compete:
Philip O'Connor @philipoconnor
I stood at the bottom of the hill in Sochi and saw Anna Holmlund win ski cross bronze. I saw the newsflashes about her injury. I almost had to write her obituary, but she proved us all wrong. I’ll miss her in #Pyeongchang, but her courage is an inspiration to us all. https://t.co/p7AGVP6kaa
Canadian skier Chris Delbosco suffered a tremendous spill in the early exchanges of the men's ski cross qualifying, via 7Olympics, illustrating the dangers presented by the course in Pyeongchang.
One of the most exhilarating events of the Games has been saved until its climax, and all eyes will be on Thompson and Serwa as they look to respond to adversity in gilded fashion.