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Christensen takes ski slopestyle gold to complete podium lock-out for US freestylers

Joss Christensen produced a scintillating display to claim the gold medal in the inaugural men's Olympic skiing slopestyle title, leading a clean sweep for the USA, as Gus Kenworthy took silver and Nicholas Goepper claimed bronze.

Christensen was the last athlete to make the cut for the US half-pipe team for Sochi 2014, but at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park he demonstrated that he is very much a performer for the big occasion.

Just as he had done in the morning heats, the 22-year-old produced the best two runs of the final with scores of 95.80 and 93.80 to outshine the 19-year old favourite Goepper and the other 10 finalists.

Born and raised in the shadow of mountains in Park City, Utah, Christensen showcased his technical prowess by conjuring up a massive triple-cork jump in his second run.

“It was definitely an honour to make the team,” said the first ever winner of an Olympic ski slopestyle gold. “I am stoked to be up here with my friends. America, we did it!

“I just wanted to show everyone that they'd made a good choice and hopefully prove myself.

“I didn't try to put any more pressure on myself, I just tried to ski a normal contest and just do my best and have fun with it. I thought it worked out.”

Band of brothers

Meanwhile, his US team-mate Kenworthy was absolutely thrilled to take silver, and paid tribute to his fellow Americans on the podium.

“I am so stoked about an American 1-2-3.” he said.

“Nick is always the guy to kind of beat in a contest, he is so consistent and so incredible; and Joss is really killing it right now. He is one of my best friends and I am stoked for him.”

It was only the third ever podium 1-2-3 for the USA at an Olympic Winter Games, following similar achievements in the men’s figure skating in Cortina d' Ampezzo in 1956 and the men's snowboard half-pipe at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002.

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