WATCH:

Eh Game

Canadians Kaya Turski, Yuki Tsubota suffer crashes in women’s ski slopestyle event

Eh Game

View gallery

.

Canadian Kaya Turski crashes during slopestyle qualification (Jonathan Heyward:CP Images)

Canada's dominance in freestyle skiing continued into Tuesday morning, with two more medals in women's ski slopestyle, including a gold medal to Huntsville, Ontario's Dara Howell. Her teammate Kim Lamarre of Québec City earned the bronze medal.

Even with the gold and bronze medals (bringing Canada's medal total in freestyle skiing to six, including three golds) the day was bittersweet for the Canadian team. Two expected medal favourites, Kaya Turski and Yuki Tsubota, suffered hard falls during the event, and Tsubota needed to be stretchered off the course during the final, missing the landing area of her final jump completely.

The slopestyle course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park includes a rail section at the top of the hill, with three big jumps (named Hot, Cool and Yours after the motto of the games) at the bottom of the course. Riders and skiers needed to generate and maintain speed through the jump section to be able to clear the flat area on the top of the jump and hit the landing area. The course was running slow thanks to slushy conditions Tuesday afternoon, and both Turski and Tsubota came up slightly short.

Turski, a medal favourite, came into the day nursing a mystery illness, and after her first crash on the day was left with a dislocated right shoulder. She still pulled out all the stops for her second qualification run to make the ski slopestyle final. After landing her second jump switch, Turski lost some speed as she spun around to point her skis forward for the final jump, and failed to clear the flat section.

Despite missing the podium during ski slopestyle's debut on the Olympic programme, she sounded optimistic about her finish:

“You know, I’ve done X Games 10 times now,” she said. “This was the next step … definitely more pressure on myself at the Olympics, no doubt. But I can say I was here, at least.

I mean sure, it’s disappointing. I put so much in — I have to believe that this moment doesn’t define who I am, and that’s even written on my jacket — ‘no moment defines me.’ It’s definitely disappointing, I’ve worked so hard, I’ve poured my heart and soul into the last six months. But … I wouldn’t change it. I won the X Games two weeks ago, I wish it was the Olympics … but I’m proud to say I’m an Olympian now, even though I’m probably 22nd out of 22. But you know what? I’ll take it. That’s 22nd in the world.”

For the record, Turski finished 19th, with her 28.00 score on her first run able to place her in front of three competitors in qualification.

Tsubota's injury was a little uglier, as the 20-year-old Whistler resident had to be helped off the course on a stretcher. Tsubota scored a 71.60 on her first final run, good for sixth, but she knew that she had to go all-out to make the podium. To her credit, Tsubota tried to leave everything out on the field, stretching for big air even though she was losing speed heading up to her final jump:

View gallery

.

Yuki Tsubota crash

 

This crash certainly looked worse, as a helpless Tsubota fell down the mountain seemingly motionless, but initial reports were fairly optimistic for her condition. CBC's overnight anchors, Andrew Chang and Andi Petrillo, relayed information from Twitter that Tsubota possibly had a facial injury—perhaps a fractured jaw—which is certainly better than what it could have been.

The crashes do mar the otherwise excellent day on the slopes for the Canadian team, though we'll assume when Tsubota opens up, she'll be just as positive as teammate Turski was on Twitter in the minutes following her disappointing run:

Well World.... I gave it my best shot. I truly did...... Thank you for all the amazing support. Everyone. Love you ☺️

— Kaya Turski (@kayaturski) February 11, 2014

Wow!!! @DaraHowell you just won the Olympics! Proud of you kid. You skied amazing. Hats off to my very talented Canadian teammate

View Comments (4)
  • Rio Olympics was like a cold war, says Russian Efimova

    Rio Olympics was like a cold war, says Russian Efimova

    By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Yulia Efimova, who won two Olympic silver medals this month after being cleared to compete in Rio following a doping ban, has compared swimming in the Games to being at war. This was awful and it … More »

    Reuters - 16 minutes ago
  • Track season moves on without Bolt

    Track season moves on without Bolt

    As Usain Bolt parties in London, around 30 Olympic medalists including nine champions have headed to Switzerland for the first major track and field meeting since the Rio de Janeiro Games. Bolt's absence lets fellow Jamaican sprint gold medalists … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 28 minutes ago
  • U.S. Olympic swimmer Feigen says he omitted facts to protect teammates

    U.S. Olympic swimmer Feigen says he omitted facts to protect teammates

    (Reuters) - U.S. Olympic swimmer Jimmy Feigen apologized on Wednesday for omitting key details when he told Rio de Janeiro police this month that he and fellow swimmers had been held up at gunpoint. In a statement on the website of an Austin, … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 48 minutes ago
  • Swimmer Feigen sorry for 'distraction'

    Swimmer Feigen sorry for 'distraction'

    U.S. swimmer James Feigen apologized for the ''serious distraction'' he and three teammates caused at a gas station during the Rio Olympics, saying he omitted facts in his statement to police. ''I omitted the facts that we urinated behind the … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 13 minutes ago
  • More Olympic athletes back on home soil

    More Olympic athletes back on home soil

    For the second day in a row, Canadian Olympians returned home from the Rio Olympics to excited crowds of loved ones and fans. Runner Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., who won a silver and two bronze medals, was the first to walk through the arrival … More »

    The Canadian Press - 3 hours ago