Women’s Freeskiing Slopestyle at the Winter Olympics: Live Updates and Results

Eileen Gu of China and Mathild Gremaud of Switzerland waiting for scores in the women's freeski slopestyle final at the 2022 Winter Olympics
Getty Images

Olympic medals in women’s freeskiing slopestyle were awarded on Monday night in the United States (Tuesday morning in Beijing). Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud claimed gold, improving on her silver medal in this event from four years ago and picking up her second medal of these 2022 Winter Olympics. Eileen Gu also won her second medal in Beijing, a silver. And Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru earned the bronze, her nation’s first Winter Olympic medal in a sport other than cross-country skiing.

See below for On Her Turf’s preview of the women’s slopestyle final, as well as live updates and results as competition unfolded.

Women’s Freeski Slopestyle Final – Live Updates:

8:32pm ET: And we are underway with the first run of the women’s ski slopestyle final. Athletes go in reverse order of their qualifying round scores. Best score counts.

8:38pm ET: France’s Tess Ledeux – who claimed silver in big air earlier at these 2022 Beijing Winter Games – throws down a big double cork. And that certainly isn’t the hardest trick we’ll see from Ledeux today. She moves into first with a score of 72.91.

8:46pm ET: Anastasia Tatalina, representing the Russian Olympic Committee, goes down on the final jump after an otherwise strong run.

8:48pm ET: Team USA’s Maggie Voisin on course for her first run, which ends up being a wash. After a strong rails section, she catches an edge on the first jump and bails out.

8:52pm ET: China’s Eileen Gu sends it in her first run. Following a strong rails section, she lands both a double cork 1080 and cork 900 with a double grab. But a couple of bobbles hurt her score – 69.90 – she moves into second behind Ledeux.

8:55pm ET: Kelly Sildaru of Estonia with a very clean run. She moves into first with a score of 82.06.

Video of Kelly Sildaru’s first run in the women’s freeski slopestyle final:

8:57pm ET: After the first run, the top three are Kelly Sildaru, Tess Ledeux, and Eileen Gu.

9:00pm ET: Curious how cold it is at Genting Snow Park today? Negative 7 degrees Fahrenheit. Yikes.

9:02pm ET: Time for run #2… After a binding issue caused a rough first run – she literally scored 1.10 points (out of 100) – Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud does more than just bounce back. Gremaud, the big air bronze medalist from earlier in these Games, moves into gold-medal position with a score of 86.56.

9:07pm ET: Oof. Tess Ledeux goes down on the first jump (aka “twisted sisters”). She remains in bronze-medal position – for now – thanks to her first run score.

9:17pm ET: Wow. American Maggie Voisin with a big run that moves her into third place. Voisin, a 23-year-old who hails from Whitefish, Montana, is aiming for her first Olympic medal. Voisin earned a spot on the 2014 U.S. Olympic team at age 15, where she was poised to become the youngest U.S. winter Olympian since 1972, but she had to withdraw from the Games after she fractured her right fibula during a training run. Four years ago, in her official Olympic debut, she placed fourth in this event. She’s overcome a lot off the snow, too, including the loss of her older brother Michael in January 2021.

Video of Maggie Voisin’s strong second run in the Olympic slopestyle final:

9:20pm ET: And Eileen Gu goes down on the third rail feature. Currently in seventh, she’ll need to rely on her third run.

9:25pm ET: Wow. Kelly Sildaru with a very strong run until the final jump. She loses a ski, but still manages to land on her feet? What? Olympians, they’re built different. She’s still in silver-medal position, though, thanks to her first run.

9:27pm ET: After the second run, here’s where the podium stands: Mathilde Gremaud (86.56), Kelly Sildaru (82.06), and Maggie Voisin (74.28). Because of the format (best score across all three runs counts), it is still anyone’s game.

9:32pm ET: Time for run #3… Mathilde Gremaud with a strong run…. until the final jump, when she goes down. She’s in gold-medal position for now, but she has to wait to see if that score will hold up once the final 10 competitors come through. Gremaud was in this position just yesterday, when she was the 12th and final qualifier into today’s final.

9:34pm ET: Tess Ledeux, in sixth place heading into run three, isn’t able to put down a medal-winning run. She bobbles on her first jump, and calls it there. Ledeux still will leave Beijing with a silver medal from the big air competition.

9:42pm ET: Anastasia Tatalina, representing the Russian Olympic Committee, lands a massive double cork 1440 on the final jump. Wow. The early part of her run included a couple of bobbles, though. She moves from fourth to third… switching spots with Maggie Voisin.

9:46pm ET: Speaking of… Maggie Voisin with a good run, but a touch on her first jump hurts her. She stays in fourth, the same position she finished in four years ago in PyeongChang.

9:49pm ET: Eileen Gu with a good final run, solid on both the rails and jumps. She moves into silver-medal position with a score of 86.23.

9:52pm ET: If you’re confused about the scoring, a quick refresher: in slopestyle, athletes are evaluated based on their technical difficulty, as well as their style and overall impression. It’s not just about big jumps, but also about skiing stylishly and with ease. Trick judges score athletes for their technical ability (60% of the total score) and overall judges rate overall impression (40% of the score). Scores range from 0 to 100 points.

9:54pm ET: It’s down to Kelly Sildaru… She’s guaranteed bronze, but can improve on that with a top score.

9:56pm ET: Wow. Kelly Sildaru with a statement run. Back-to-back 1080s on the final two jumps, but it’s not enough. She’ll finish with bronze thanks to her first run score.

10:00pm ET: The podium is official: Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud claims gold, improving on her silver medal in this event from four years ago. Eileen Gu wins the silver, also her second medal of these 2022 Winter Olympics. And Kelly Sildaru picks up the bronze. That marks Estonia’s first ever medal at the Winter Olympics in a sport other than cross-country skiing. Pretty impressive given that the nation doesn’t have any mountains.

10:12pm ET: It’s almost time for the women’s downhill in alpine skiing. After a 30-minute wind delay, the race is slated to begin at 10:30pm ET. You can follow along for live updates here.

What is slopestyle skiing?

In slopestyle, skiers perform a variety of tricks as they move through a course that includes rails, boxed, bumps, and jumps. Athletes are evaluated based on their technical difficulty, as well as their style. Trick judges score athletes for their technical ability (60% of the total score) and overall judges rate overall impression (40% of the score). Scores range from 0 to 100 points.

Preview – Women’s Freeskiing Slopestyle at the 2022 Winter Olympics:

Earlier this week, the first ever Olympic medals in women’s freeski big air were awarded, with China’s Eileen Gu claiming gold, France’s Tess Ledeux picking up silver and Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud earning bronze. All three medal winners will be back in competition for today’s final in women’s freeski slopestyle.

The top qualifier heading into the final is Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru. Four years ago, Sildaru – then 15 – was expected to be a medal favorite in both freeski slopestyle and halfpipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. But in September 2017, she suffered a left knee injury in training that ultimately kept her from competing at the Games. Sildaru won the Youth Olympic gold in this event two years ago, and she is also a six-time X Games champion (four in slopestyle, two in superpipe).

Also notable is the fact that Sildaru hails from Estonia, a country with no mountains. The tallest peak in the nation? Suur Munamagi, at just over 1,000 feet. The nation of 1.2 million has won just four medals in Winter Olympic history, all in cross-country skiing.

Gu, who posted the third highest score in qualifying, is also expected to be a big threat. The 18-year-old Gu – who was born in San Francisco and represents China – enters the final as the reigning world champion. She also won X Games gold in this event last year.

One American will compete in the final: Maggie Voisin. Her U.S. teammate Marin Hamill, also qualified for the final, but will not compete due to an injury she sustained in qualifying. Per U.S. Ski and Snowboard, Hamill “has a right leg injury and will return to the U.S. for further evaluation and care.”

MORE WINTER OLYMPICS: In alpine skiing, women compete, but that’s about it

Freeski Slopestyle – Olympic Competition Format:

The top 12 skiers from qualifying advanced. In the final, competitors will start in reverse order of their qualifying score; so Kelly Sildaru, as the top qualifier, will go last.

Each athlete will have three runs, with their best score counting towards the final standings.

MORE WINTER OLYMPICS: Winter Olympics: Women’s Downhill – Preview and Live Updates

Start List:

7 – SUI – Mathilde GREMAUD
17 – CAN – Olivia ASSELIN
1 – FRA – Tess LEDEUX
18 – ITA – Silvia BERTAGNA
12 – USA – Marin HAMILL (injured, will not compete)
9 – GBR – Kirsty MUIR
16 – ROC – Anastasia TATALINA
10 – USA – Maggie VOISIN
3 – CHN – Eileen (Ailing) GU
5 – NOR – Johanne KILLI
2 – EST – Kelly SILDARU

The NBC Olympics research team contributed to this report. 
Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC

Justine Wong-Orantes’ atypical path to becoming one of the best liberos in the world

Justine Wong-Orantes hits the ball in the women's semi-final volleyball match between USA and Serbia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Getty Images

It’s been 20 years since the same nation held both the Olympic and world volleyball titles at the same time, but libero Justine Wong-Orantes is looking to help lead Team USA accomplish that very feat at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championships in the Netherlands and Poland. Competition began on Friday and the U.S. is currently 2-0 after group play wins against Kazakhstan and Canada.

“We’re trying to win, for sure,” Wong-Orantes told On Her Turf. “I think, especially with the new turn of the program and the new year of the quad, we just have a really nice blend of veterans and also newcomers on the team.”

The 14-woman roster for Team USA, which is ranked No. 1 in the world and won its first Olympic title last summer, features six players from that gold-medal-winning team. And while Wong-Orantes is among the 2021 U.S. Olympic team veterans, she’s still a relative newcomer to international play.

The Southern California native enjoyed a notable junior career – she was 12 when she became the youngest female to ever earn an AAA rating in beach volleyball – and was a standout collegian at Nebraska, where she was a member of the 2015 NCAA championship team. But Wong-Orantes followed a different path upon graduation, initially choosing not to go overseas to play professionally.

While she was first selected for the U.S. national team in 2016 and played a handful of international tournaments in the following years, it wasn’t until she started playing professionally in Germany in 2019 that she saw the potential to elevate her position on the roster. In particular, the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics gave her an additional year of overseas experience, which she calls “a blessing in disguise.”

“I just felt like I was still in that developmental stage,” she said. “And a whole year postponement allowed me to go overseas and really get all the touches, all the repetitions, and just kind of expose myself to international volleyball another year. So I was, in hindsight, pretty thankful for that COVID season because I got an extra year under my belt, and I think that just gave me a ton of confidence.”

Ahead of the Olympics, Wong-Orantes earned “best libero” honors at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball National League in Rimini, Italy, which helped secure her spot on the Olympic roster. In Tokyo, she followed up with another standout performance and was named best libero of the Olympic tournament.

As to how the Wong-Orantes transformed into one of the world’s top liberos, she points to her background as a beach volleyball player. She began competing at age 8, and her first partner was Sara Hughes, a star on the AVP Pro Tour who also won two NCAA titles with USC.

“I think having that background and just the court awareness that beach volleyball forces you to have allowed me to really have a good read on the game,” said Wong-Orantes. “I think that’s what makes a great libero is just reading and always being reactive towards the ball.”

Wong-Orantes also credits the assistance of mental coach Sue Enquist, a former UCLA softball coach and U.S. national team coach, who now helps teams work on their culture and relationships. Enquist began working with the U.S. volleyball team during the pandemic and has continued in her role ever since.

“We just worked on a lot of stuff within ourselves, within our program, how to communicate with each other off the court, and I think that honestly propelled us into such a high, high level with how we worked with each other, and then that transferred onto the court,” explained Wong-Orantes, who noted the team has Enquist on speed dial while at the World Championship. “I really commend Sue. I just really give a lot of praise to her because I think our culture was never bad, but I think [she] just transformed into a different level.”

2022-09-26 - FIVB Volleyball Womens World Championship 2022 - Day 4
ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS – Justine Wong-Orantes (far right) poses for a photo with her U.S. teammates after defeating Canada at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship on September 26, 2022. (Photo by Rene Nijhuis/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Wong-Orantes said she and her U.S. teammates are on their toes for the world championships, which features twice as many teams (24) as the Olympics and a “more grueling” format.

“It’s going to be a long tournament, and I think we’re really going to need all 14 of us that are here. I’m pretty certain that, at any given moment, someone’s going to be called on and someone’s going to need to step up in big moments.”

2022 Ascendant LPGA: How to watch, who’s playing in Texas’s annual signature event

Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand hits her second shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
Getty Images

The LPGA make its annual stop in The Colony, Texas, this week for the 10th edition of the Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America, where Thailand’s 19-year-old rookie Atthaya Thitikul comes in hot off her second career win and second playoff victory this season at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.

Leading the 132-player field at Old American Golf Club, located at Golf Clubs at The Tribute, are Texas residents and past champions Cheyenne Knight and Angela Stanford. They’ll compete for the $1.7 million prize purse alongside major champions Nelly KordaLydia Ko and Brooke Henderson. Last year’s Ascendant LPGA champion, world No. 1 Jin Young Ko, will not be defending her title after announcing earlier this month she would be missing several weeks due to a nagging wrist injury.

This past weekend in Arkansas, Thitikul took the lead with a 10-under 61 in the second round and shot 68 in the final round to finish regulation tied with Danielle Kang at 17-under 196. Thitikul, who won the JTBC Classic in March in a two-hole playoff vs. Nanna Koerstz Madsen, drained an 8-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to secure the win over Kang.

How to watch the 2022 Ascendant LPGA 

Coverage of the 2022 Ascendant LPGA from Old American Golf Club in The Colony, Texas, can be found on Golf Channel, with streaming options available any time on any mobile device and online through NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

  • Thursday, Sept. 29: 12:30-3:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Friday, Sept. 30: 12:30-3:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Saturday, Oct. 1: 1-4 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Sunday, Oct. 2: 1-4 p.m. ET, Golf Channel

Who’s playing in the 2022 Ascendant LPGA

Six of the top 10 players in the Rolex World Rankings are among the field in Texas, including:

  • No. 2 Nelly Korda
  • No. 4 Lydia Ko
  • No. 5 Atthaya Thitikul
  • No. 6 Brooke Henderson
  • No. 7 Lexi Thompson
  • No. 10 Nasa Hataoka

A number of local Texans also are in the tournament, headlined by past champions, Angela Stanford (2020) and Cheyenne Knight (2019), and two junior champions of the Volunteers of America Classic Girls Championship, who are playing on a sponsor exemption: Yunxuan (Michelle) Zhang (2022), a freshman at SMU, and Avery Zweig (2021), a high school sophomore from McKinney, Texas.

Past five champions of The Ascendant LPGA

2021 Jin Young Ko (South Korea) 16-under 268 1 stroke Matilda Castren
2020 Angela Stanford (USA) 7-under 277 2 strokes So Yeon Ryu, Inbee Park, Yealimi Noh
2019 Cheyenne Knight (USA) 18-under 266 2 strokes Brittany Altomare, Jaye Marie Green
2018 Sung Hyun Park (South Korea) 11-under 131 1 stroke Lindy Duncan
2017 Haru Nomura (Japan) 3-under 281 Playoff Christie Kerr

Last time at The Ascendant LPGA

South Korea’s Jin Young Ko carded a final-round 69 to maintain her 54-hole lead at Old American Golf Club and held on for a one stroke win at the 2021 Volunteers of America Classic, her eighth career LPGA tour title. Ko finished regulation at 16-under 268, edging Finland’s Matilda Castren by one stroke.

It kicked off a five-win season for Ko, who had just lost her No. 1 ranking to Nelly Korda the week prior after holding the top spot for 100 straight weeks. She regained the No. 1 ranking back in October 2021, after earning her fourth win in seven starts at the BMW Ladies Championship.

More about Old American Golf Club

Opened in 2010, the Old American Golf Club is one of two clubs at The Tribute, a lakefront resort community on Lewisville Lake in The Colony, Texas. Designed by Tripp Davis and 12-time PGA Tour winner Justin Leonard, Old American plays as a Par 71 and stretches to 6,475 yards on the tournament scorecard.