With Big Air in the books, freeski events changed venues this week to Genting Snow Park, home of the Olympic Slopestyle course. Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud, a frontrunner of the event, was pitted against Eileen Gu, Kelly Sildaru, Sarah Hoffelin and others as the ladies took to the biggest stage in Slopstyle skiing.
Breaking a binding on her first run, Gremaud was able to bounce back quickly with two impressive runs on her second and third laps through the course, utilizing the massive features throughout the course to her advantage. In a press conference after the event, Gremaud said, ““The first run was not a good start. My binding broke and I had to go back up and check everything out with my coach to change my ski and make it ready for my next run. It was a good distraction for me. It put my mind somewhere else instead of thinking, ‘What am I going to do? I just crashed on my first run’. I emptied my head, and I was thinking about my binding and was like, ‘Why did you break?’ It was as good distraction.”
Eileen Gu, who has enough tricks in her bag to be a magician, was pushed to the limit following Gremaud’s runs—but even the 2021 World Champion couldn’t find a way to eke out a victory, finishing just 0.33 points behind the Swiss rider. And Kelly Sildaru, a top competitor in every event she rides and one of the favorites in the upcoming halfpipe comp, took the bronze. The medal was the first-ever Winter Olympics medal for her home country, Estonia.