Eileen Gu came out strong on Saturday with a left double 1080 safety to Japan grab with her first run and leaped into the lead on her second run with a right double 1260 safety grab. When the women’s start list was reordered from lowest-to-highest scores for run three, Eileen Gu was granted the final run of the women’s competition, and when none of the other women was able to bump her from the top spot she was left with the last drop and victory lap to do whatever trick she wanted.

However, instead of throwing a mellow crowd pleaser for the fans, Eileen Gu elected to take things up a notch, putting down a right double cork 1440 to become the first woman ever to land the trick in any Freeski competition. Combined with her left 1080, her two-jump combined score was 184.25 out of a possible 200.

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“I made that decision probably after I landed my second run,” said Eileen Gu from the finish area, “I felt like I had done the best of my ability for the dub 1260 and I wanted to push it. I had a super good early season camp out in Europe where I learned the 1440, did the world’s first, and I had landed it enough that I felt comfortable to do it today. The boys were so inspiring out here throwing insane tricks, so I wanted to represent the women as well and kind of step it up to the next level.”

Now with major international wins in all three Freeski events - big air, slopestyle, and halfpipe - Gu will be carrying some big expectations into her home soil Olympics when we roll into Beijing in two months.

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Second behind Gu was Tess Ledeux (FRA), as the winner of the season-opening big air in Chur tried to make some history of her own by going for a last-hit left double 1620 safety in an attempt to knock Eileen Gu from the top spot. While Tess Ledeux was able to get her skis underneath her, she couldn’t ride out clean, and instead had to settle for a score of 177.50 on the strength of her left double cork 1260 mute and right bio 1080 tail grab.

Still, expect to be hearing about Tess Ledeux making some history of her own with the 1620 very shortly.

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Just back of Tess Ledeux to round out the women’s podium at Steamboat was Johanna Killi of Norway, as the 24-year-old landed a switch right double 1080 Japan and a switch left 1080 tail grab for a score of 177.00. It was her second-straight podium after she also finished in third at the Stubai slopestyle World Cup two weeks ago.

©Dawsy (FIS)

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