Sports

Maggie Voisin Becomes First American Woman to Win Gold in X Games Slopestyle Skiing

Whitefish skiing phenom builds momentum as she heads to 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang next month

Two weeks after qualifying for the U.S. Olympic freeskiing slopestyle team, and four years after a devastating injury derailed her Olympic debut in Sochi, Russia, Whitefish native Maggie Voisin mined gold on Saturday at the winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In posting a stunning score of 92.33 on her first run in the women’s slopestyle competition — which would not be bested by the sport’s top competitors — Voisin, 19, became the first American woman to win gold in the history of the event’s inception in 2009.

Great Britain’s Isabel Atkin placed second with a score of 88 points, followed by Sweden’s Jennie Lee Burmansson in third, with a score of 83.66.

But in the end it was Voisin standing atop the podium, an historic feat she accomplished despite a fall on the course’s rail section during her second run, and which set her up for a third and final run that amounted to a much-deserved victory lap.

“I can hardly breathe to be honest,” Voisin told ESPN’s Tom Wallisch. “I’ve been dreaming of this day a really long time.”

Earlier this month, Voisin finished second at the Toyota Grand Prix outside Aspen, Colorado, where she finished as the top American, clinching her spot on the Olympic squad by virtue of a second podium finish in the first three qualifying events. Voisin won the first freeskiing slopestyle Olympic qualifier of the season in Mammoth Lakes, California last February.

Riding a groundswell of momentum into the Olympics next month, Voisin adds a gold medal to her already impressive purse of trophies.

As a 15-year-old, Voisin declared her arrival on the scene four years ago, when she won a silver medal in in her 2014 X Games debut in slopestyle. Her second X Games medal also made history when she won bronze in big air in Norway in 2017.

While she made the Olympic team in 2014, a break to her right fibula suffered during practice in Sochi prevented her from taking part.

She now heads to South Korea as the top-ranked American woman in her event, and she does so with a pocket full of gold.

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