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Medals update: USA dazzler Alex Hall dominates for freeski slopestyle gold

Alex Hall took the gold in the Beijing 2022 men’s freestyle skiing slopestyle event with a big first run in the finals – where he was followed onto the podium by fellow American Nick Goepper (silver) and the Swede Jesper Tjader (bronze).

4 min By Jonah Fontela
Alex Hall of Team USA performs a trick during the men's freestyle freeski slopestyle final
(Picture by 2022 Getty Images)

Team USA’s Alex Hall put down a huge run midway through the first round that ended the competition before most of the pack even had a chance to get their bearings in the Beijing 2022 men's freestyle skiing slopestyle finals.

With unmatched creativity and innovation, Hall had the rest of the field chasing his big score of 90.01 through two and half rounds. And the best efforts of some of the best freeskiers on the planet proved all in vain.

Fellow American Nick Goepper followed Hall onto the podium with the silver (his third Olympic medal) while Jesper Tjader of Sweden took the bronze in the best-run-of-three contest from the Genting Snow Park which saw only 11 athletes compete after Switzerland’s Kim Gubser pulled out before the start with injury.

Hall laid down the only 90+ score of the day with a run that was highly technical, wildly progressive – and loaded with style.

“It definitely was the best slopestyle run I’ve ever done, mainly because it embodied everything I love about skiing and how I approach it and I didn’t fade away from that to try and maybe get bigger scores," Hall told Olympics.com after the event."

Hall's first run ends it

Hall tiptoed through the rails in his own inimitable way before unleashing a massive double-cork on the first jump feature. He followed that up with an innovative bounce off the knuckle in the wave section of the second jump. Then, finally, he capped the run with a double-ten (pulled back a half rotation at the end) to land switch (backward).

The judges, clearly impressed, handed the American a 90.01 which saw him take full control of the competition early.

"I’m really glad that the creativity was able to shine through and that got rewarded," added Hall. "A lot of those tricks were really, really hard for me -- especially that last jump.

"I figured I’ll just give it my all and go all-in right away," he continued. "And it somehow worked out on that first run."

Hall’s second run was similar to his first and earned him a score of 86.38 points – more than the top score of any of the ten other skiers at the stage.

The chasing field pushed the limits in the final round, trying to lay a glove on Hall by going big and spinning hard. But it wasn’t to be as the 23-year-old American’s progression and style were deserving of a first Olympic gold medal.

USA teammate Goepper – who unleashed a pair of gorgeous double cork 14s in his second run (after falling on his first) was good value for his silver on the day and the Swede Tjader's big first run was enough for the bronze.

"I feel awesome," Goepper said after collecting his third Olympic medal. "Life is good -- I'm super grateful for everything that's happened in the last couple of years. To get another medal out of another Olympics -- it's just a cool thing."

Bronze winner said Tjader was similarly thrilled with the result.

“It means a lot. My goal with the Olympics is to land my best run ever, and today I finally landed it. I couldn’t be more stoked," he said. "I’ve never done a switch triple cork in a slopestyle run before...and the double-16 Japan [grab] at the end, I just learned that this week.

"A lot of pieces came together today," added the Swede "It just worked out."

The Beijing 2022 freeski competition continues tomorrow with Ailing (Eileen) Gu in action in the women’s halfpipe qualifiers and the women’s ski cross medals handed out.

Men’s freestyle skiing slopestyle results

  • 1 - Alex Hall (USA) 90.01
  • 2 - Nick Goepper (USA) 86.48
  • 3 - Jesper Tjader (SWE) 85.35

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Alexander HALLAlexander HALL
Nicholas GOEPPERNicholas GOEPPER
Jesper TJADERJesper TJADER
Freestyle SkiingFreestyle Skiing
United States of AmericaUSA
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