On day three of Sochi 2014, the women’s Moguls final saw two Canadian sisters top the podium, earning a gold and silver medal for the “Great White North.” Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe are two-thirds of the Dufour-Lapointe sister trio that were all participating in the women’s Moguls final in Sochi. Justine, Chloe and their sister Maxime all advanced into the final 12 semifinals of women’s moguls. However, Maxime, the eldest of the three sisters at 25, was unable to qualify and join her two sisters in the final round of six.
The 19-year-old Justine’s run was third last in the group of the final six. She immediately vaulted to the top of the standings. The first Dufour-Lapointe sister put together a very solid run, gliding smoothly and evenly down the hill. Her first jump was a 360 twist, which she landed nearly perfectly and went right back into her mogul routine.
Justine’s second jump, a backflip, had a beautiful extension and again featured a solid landing and Justine seamlessly transitioned back into the moguls. The combination of speed and jumps earned the first Dufour-Lapointe an impressive score of 22.44.
Next up in the final round was 22-year-old Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, who was the only sister with previous Olympic experience when she placed fifth in the same event in Vancouver. Chloe’s jumps were both similar to her sister Justine’s, but Chloe’s jumps both featured the crossing of her skis. While Chloe’s jumps were slightly more difficult than her sisters, she was not quite as much smooth on her moguls and received a combined score of 21.66.
Chloe’s score placed her in second place behind her sister. With only one competitor left, it was clear that the Dufour-Lapointe sisters were both going to receive a medal in Sochi; the only question was if the Canadian sisters could hold on to win the gold and silver medals. The final competitor left was defending gold medalist, Hannah Kearney of the United States.
Kearney was looking to become the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the 22-year history of the women’s moguls’ event. Kearney’s first jump, which she had been struggling with in practice and qualifying rounds, saw her stumble slightly on the landing. She was able to recover and get to her second jump smoothly. Her final jump was an amazing 360 mute grab that she landed cleanly.
The impressive final jump was not enough to make up for the American’s mistake on the first jump as she finished with a combined score of 21.49, which earned her a bronze medal. Kearney was unable to defend her gold medal from Vancouver, but she still earned a place for the United States on the podium.
Not only is Justine Dufour-Lapointe the youngest of her sisters, but at 19-years-old, she is also the youngest freestyle skiing champion in Olympic history. The gold and silver medals won by the sisters have Canada tied for second overall in medals won with three; only Norway has earned more medals in Sochi in 2014, with four.
By Eric Kummel