Eileen Gu came into Saturday fresh off of claiming the first halfpipe World Cup victory of her career on Friday night in an impressive display of technical pipe riding, and without missing a beat she showed up for the Snow Rodeo slopestyle competition and proceeded to do what no other freeskier had ever done - take back-to-back World Cup wins at the same competition in two different events.
Eileen Gu’s second run of the day was the winner, in which she started things off with right side 270 on continuing 270 off, into a switch left Lipside 270 to forward, and finally a left side slide to frontside 450 double japan out to close out the rail section. Then, through the jumps, the 16-year-old threw a big alley-oop left rodeo 5 Mute on the “shark fin” jump, into a switch left bio 9 safety on jump number two, and finally finishing things off with a perfect right 900 tail to earn a score of 89.18 and a piece of Freeski history.
“I try not to take anything for granted,” the extremely well-composed Gu said before the awards ceremony, “Last night was incredible and I really didn’t expect that win, and today I think I expected it even less. I really just came in trying to do my best and ski the way I knew I could. Skiing my best is really the best part of this, and being rewarded for it just makes it even better.”
After Eileen Gu put down her incredible run, top qualifier Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland was the last to drop in, and the 20-year-old gave everything she had in her final run, attacking the Calgary course with a run that included a switch right tails 270 Disaster to forward on the up-flat-down rail, and a left alley-oop cork 720 stale, to right rodeo 900 safety, and finally a switch left 720 mute to finish things off on the jumps. While it wouldn’t be enough to catch Eileen Gu, her score of 87.13 would be enough for second-place and her first slopestyle World Cup podium of the season, to go along with two big air wins.
Third place would be Megan Oldham, making the host Canadian squad proud with a first run that included a switch left 900 Mute to left 900 tail combo on the final two jumps, and which scored her an 80.70 for the first podium of the season for last year’s slopestyle crystal globe winner.
Speaking of crystal globes, Sarah Hoefflin (SUI) held on to spot on the slopestyle rankings, despite not being on hand to compete in Calgary due to injury. However, fully 12 athletes are within striking distance of Hoefflin’s 192 points, with just the final competition in Silvaplana (SUI) to go in a few weeks’ time. If Hoefflin isn’t good to go in Silvaplana, her chances of holding on to win her second career crystal globe are slim.