Sports

Voisin Places Fourth in Return to Slopestyle Competition

Whitefish skier barely misses podium at X Games, top American finisher

Maggie Voisin said she wanted to ease back into skiing after knee surgery.

Apparently launching switch 900s over 70-foot jumps is her definition of calmly returning to the sport.

The 17-year-old Olympian from Whitefish competed for the first time in over a year on Friday afternoon and executed a sound performance in the women’s slopestyle contest at X Games in Aspen.

Voisin finished just shy of the podium at the sport’s premier event, earning fourth place out of eight competitors. She was the top American finisher and her best score — 84.66 — was only one point off third place.

Kelly Sildaru, a 13-year-old sensation from Estonia, became the youngest female to win gold at X Games after a masterful performance that included a top score of 93. Tiril Sjastad Christiansen of Norway placed second with a top score of 91.66. Johanne Killi of Norway earned third with a top run of 85.66.

The competition will be televised Friday afternoon starting at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Voisin’s performance on Friday was a big boost for the freeskiing phenom, whose last competition was in December 2014 when she blew out her knee. After a year of rehabilitation and strength training, she told the Beacon, “This year it’s all about just getting back and taking my time. It’s just about having fun and enjoying skiing again.”

The comeback is underway and off to a good start.

Navigating the 1,700-foot-long course that has six features, including three large jumps ranging from 60 to 70 feet in height, Voisin landed a variety of inspiring tricks, including a 720 to 900 followed by a switch 900. She progressively got better in each of her three runs, scoring 71.33, 83.66 and finishing with 84.66.

Dara Howell placed fifth with a top score of 76.33, followed by Emma Dahlstrom, 66, Devin Logan, 65.66 and Keri Herman, 60.66.

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