KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Canada claimed gold and bronze in the women's ski slopestyle final even as, in an unexpected development, its star failed to advance past the qualifying stage.
Dara Howell claimed gold with a top score of 94.20, followed by USA's Devin Logan, who notched a score of 85.40. The bronze went to Canada's Kim Lammare, who rebounded from a sloppy start to the final round to notch an 85.00 in her second run.
Logan's score came in the first of her two runs in the finals, a blazing, nearly error-free ski that left her briefly in command of the gold-medal lead. After scoring a 30.00 in her second run, Logan had to wait through another four skiers – including two Canadians – before being ensured of a medal.
Another two Americans, Julia Krass and Keri Herman, reached the final but finished 10th and 11th, respectively.
But the ski slopestyle final – which made its Olympic debut in these Sochi Games – was noteworthy as much for the skier who failed to live up to her mammoth expectations as Canada's dominance of the medal podium.
Canada's Kaya Turski entered the event as the clear favorite for gold, one month after taking the slopestyle race at last month's X Games. But she crashed on each of her two runs, finishing a disappointing 19th out of 22 skiers with a top qualifying score of 28.00.
On her second run, Turski landed too high on the knuckle of the third jump and fell backwards, eventually sliding to a halt at the end of the jump. It was "just kind of a bobble," Turski said. "I didn't mean to switch directions going into that third jump. It just kind of happened."
The result comes six months after the third ACL surgery of Turski's career, one undergone solely and specifically to prepare her for Sochi.
"It's definitely disappointing. I've worked so hard," Turski said. "I've poured my heart and soul into the last six months. But that's exactly what I did and I wouldn't change it."
The knee wasn't an issue, Turski said after qualifying, but a dislocated shoulder suffered after her first run – a recurring injury she estimates occurs twice a year – and a lingering illness played a role.
"I think it's just an accumulation of what's been going on over the past couple weeks for me," Turski said. "I've just been feeling really low the past two weeks I've been fighting this. This is day 15 and I'm still kind of struggling."
Another Canadian skier, Yuki Tsubota, had to be carried off the course in a stretcher after suffering an apparent lower-body injury in the second of her two runs in the 12-skier final. Tsubota scored a 71.60 in her first run, good for sixth overall. Australia's Anna Segal (77.00) and Sweden's Emma Dahlstrom (75.40) rounded out the top group.