BOKWANG, SOUTH KOREA—Fans skilled at lip reading might recognize the song Canadian skier Cassie Sharpe is singing right before she drops into the halfpipe. It’s the same every time: M.O.P.’s rap classic “Ante Up.”
The bravado-filled lyrics seem to be working. She scored 93.40 on her second run after a 93.00 on her first time down the halfpipe on Monday, taking the top spot in qualifying. In halfpipe, the best score from two runs counts.
“I’m rapping, I’m singing a song, just amping myself up,” Sharpe said of her pre-competition ritual. “I’ve got a little motto, ‘Just do what you’ve already done’, because I’ve done everything I need to do to be in that pipe, and to do tricks that I know I can do. So I’m just yelling at myself to ‘Just do it. Just do it.’”
The freestyle skier, from Comox, B.C., finished with a halfpipe score of 95.80 to win gold on a cool, sunny morning at Phoenix Park, a day after finishing first in qualifying.
Her first two runs each would’ve placed her atop the podium on their own. Her third ended up being a victory lap, with gold already in her pocket.
She’d talked about the possibility of that victory lap a day earlier, confident she could repeat her qualifying success. And she did.
“That was incredible,” said Sharpe. “It doesn’t quite feel real yet.”
France’s Marie Martinod took silver after crashing in her final run, guaranteeing Sharpe the top spot. American Brita Sigourney won bronze.
Sharpe set the tone early in the final, getting a 94.40 in her first run down the halfpipe and following it up with a 95.80 in the second. The best of three runs is a skier’s final score in ski halfpipe. She credits her success to training every day.
“So much to the point that I’m like ‘I don’t want to anymore, I want to have fun.’ But it is fun for me. My job is my favourite thing to do,” said Sharpe.
Calgary’s Rosalind Groenewoud finished 10th overall.
Sharpe made no mistakes in her first Olympics appearance. The first woman to ever land a switch cork 720 in competition last year, she amped up the difficulty for her runs in Pyeongchang.
Sharpe began her first run with a mute grab and a tight inverted 900 tailgrab. Somehow, she maintained enough speed to follow up with a 900 lead tailgrab.
And that wasn’t even the golden run.
In her second venture down the halfpipe, the 25-year-old added a half-rotation at the end for a 1080 tailgrab.
“I’ve been training so hard to get that run consistent and I just wanted to come out here strong with that first run. After I landed that I was like ‘OK, this is it, you can do this, if you land the second run you can bump your score,'” said Sharpe.
– The Canadian Press
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