It was a heartbreaking finish for Penticton’s Andi Naude at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
After making it to the super finals of the women’s moguls in the top spot, the 22-year-old’s final run among the top six skiers saw her go off track.
“Well, today was less than ideal, I came in feeling good,” said Naude. “I’m happy to be here to represent my country on the world stage, to be able to ski all three runs today, to be able to step up and qualify first into the final run was huge for me. It’s not ideal, it wasn’t a medal. But what can I do? I can’t go back, I just have to keep my head up and look to the future.”
On her medal run, Naude completed the back full off the first jump but then lost control on the moguls taking her off track around a gate and disqualifying her. Naude grabbed her head in disappointment as she came to a stop on the hill before continuing down to the next jump completing a backflip and skied down to the finish line where all she could do was shrug and hold her hands up.
Naude went into the final with a score of 78.78 in first place with Australia’s Britteny Cox in second (78.28) and France’s Perrine Laffont in third (77.86). That left Canadian teammate Justine Dufour-Lapointe in fourth, Jakarta Anthony (Australia) in fifth and Yulia Galysheva (Kazakhstan) in the sixth spot.
Dufour-Lapointe, who won gold in Sochi, had strong execution of her jumps, an aggressive run and the fastest time down the hill in her medal run. For that, she was put into the gold medal position with a score of 78.56 and three skiers to go. However, on the very next run, Laffont laid down an even faster time on a similar run to Dufour-Lapointe. Judges scored her 78.65 pushing her into the gold medal spot. Galysheva, who went down the hill first in the final saw her score of 77.40. That held up for the bronze medal.
Dufour-Lapointe is the first Canadian woman to win a medal at the 2018 Olympics.