Four years after Olympic misses, Jakara Anthony and Jaelin Kauf shine at Olympics

Women's Moguls at the 2022 Winter Olympics
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Four years after finishing just off the podium in fourth, Jakara Anthony is an Olympic gold medalist. On day two of the 2022 Winter Olympics, the 23-year-old Aussie claimed gold in women’s moguls.

Anthony is just the fourth Aussie woman to win gold at the Winter Games in any sport, joining snowboarder Torah Bright and fellow freestyle skiers Alisa Camplin and Lydia Lassila, who both competed in aerials.

Jaelin Kauf won silver, becoming the first American to finish on the women’s moguls podium since NBC Olympics analyst Hannah Kearney earned bronze in 2014.

Kauf’s medal, the second for Team USA, was something of a surprise. While she was ranked No. 1 in the world heading in the 2018 Winter Olympics, her last World Cup podium finish came over a year ago and she has been stronger in the non-Olympic dual moguls event in recent years.

Anastasia Smirnova, representing the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), picked up the bronze, while defending Olympic gold medalist Perrine Laffont placed fourth – swapping 2018 results with Anthony.

Kauf, who hails from Alta, Wyoming, grew up in a skiing family. Her father Scott was a five-time Pro Mogul Tour champion, while her mom Patti won the title twice.

While Kauf seriously thought about quitting the sport in 2014, she stuck with it. She made her Olympic debut in 2018, where she finished seventh overall after just missing out on the final.

That close-miss experience helped shape her approach moving forward. The 25-year-old says she entered the Olymipcs aiming to “win every round.”

Known for her speed, she posted the fastest time in all three finals.

She also made sure to keep it light, helped by a reminder that she wears on her helmet: “Deliver the Love.”

“It’s like my little motto just to remember why I’m skiing: It’s because I love it and I’m passionate about it, and that’s how I want to go about life,” she told NBC Sports ahead of the 2022 Winter Games.

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC