After a stirring threat by American upstart Julia Marino, the New Zealand superstar Zoi Sadowski-Synnott captured the gold medal in women’s slopestyle with a 92.88 on the final run of the competition.
After Sadowski-Synnott cruised to an early lead with a score of 84.51, Marino strung together back-to-back 900-degree turns and then a double frontside 1080 on her second run. Her score of 87.68 put her in the lead entering the final run and put the pressure on Sadowski-Synnott.
Sadowski-Synnott, who qualified first, started off her line a bit after the rails but cut across the course to start with a backside 900 on her first jump. She finished with perhaps the best jump of the day, as Marino and bronze medalist Tess Coady of Australia swarmed her with congratulations.
From there, the score was only a formality — Marino displayed more technical precision, but Sadowski-Synnott soared higher and followed up world championships in 2019 and 2021 with her first gold medal. Coady finished her third run with a double frontside 1080 to win the bronze at 84.15.
Until Sadowski-Synnott’s final run, Marino was the surprise of the competition. The 24-year-old from Westport, Conn., finished 11th in slopestyle in 2018 and qualified sixth. In fact, she nearly duplicated her second run moments later but fell on the final jump.
Jamie Anderson, the American who won gold in the first two editions of women’s slopestyle at the Olympics, finished ninth with the score of 60.78 from her second run.