ZHANGJIAKOU, Hebei — Freestyler skier Alex Hall led a 1-2 American finish in the men’s Olympic slopestyle competition on Wednesday with a trick on his first run where he stopped his rotation midair and turned in the other direction before softly landing.
Hall’s opening run drew a score of 90.01, a score no one could match. His teammate Nick Goepper turned in a creative run on his second pass to earn silver. Jesper Tjader of Sweden took home bronze.
The Americans have captured six of nine Olympic medals since the event made its debut in 2014. Goepper has three of them, adding Wednesday to his silver from the 2018 Pyeongchang Games and bronze from the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Hall stole the show on a frigid day at the Genting Snow Park, where the temperature was around minus 4 Fahrenheit (minus 20 Celsius). The 23-year-old who was born in Alaska, grew up in Switzerland and now lives in Utah, had a few did-that-just-happen moments as the seventh competitor to take the course.
He skimmed off the top of a bump and did an impressive trick on one feature. That was just a warmup act for his midair spin on the last jump where he was able to stop his momentum and basically turn back around.
The judges rewarded him, too.
Goepper came the closest to matching Hall's run with a score of 86.48.
It’s another medal for Hall, who earned bronze at the 2021 world championships and another bronze last month at Winter X Games.
This was certainly a sign of things to come: Hall was a silver medalist at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games, where he finished behind Birk Ruud of Norway. Ruud, who won the big air contest last Wednesday, wound up fifth. Andri Ragettli, the top qualifier from Switzerland, finished just off the podium in fourth. He had an early mistake on his final run and shut it down.