After a disappointing 17th-place finish in big air, triple-threat Kelly Sildaru of Estonia came out swinging Monday in the qualifying round of her specialty event slopestyle with a mega second run, advancing to the final as the top skier at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The reigning Youth Olympic gold medalist and four-time X Games winner went huge in the bottom jump section of that Run 2 with a rightside 900 and switch leftside and rightside 1080s, upping the right 540 and switch left 720 and switch right 900 sequence from her first run.
Other favorites had issues while making it through: big air gold medalist Eileen Gu of China, a native of San Francisco, took third but had uncharacteristic trouble off a rail on her first run; France’s Tess Ledeux, the big air silver medalist, bounced a landing on Run 1; and Swiss Mathilde Gremaud squeezed in at 12th.
American Maggie Voisin, who also missed last week’s big air final, placed an impressive fourth. The 2018 X Games Aspen champion hit a blindside 630 out off the third-section flat rail and landed a rightside 540, a big switch 900 and a leftside 720 on the jumps to produce a Run 1 score of 72.78.
Voisin’s teammate Marin Hamill also made the final in seventh, while Darian Stevens, 11th in big air, failed to advance. Caroline Claire didn’t start, and it wasn’t immediately clear why; the Minnesota-born Vermonter promoted the event’s round on her Instagram Stories the day prior.
Officials postponed competition Sunday due to heavy snowfall blanketing the course. The leftover snow appeared to affect some skiers’ performances Monday.
The event’s final is Tuesday, or 8:30 p.m. Monday ET.
SEE MORE: Women’s Freeski Slopestyle Qualifying