Martinod retired in 2007 but returned to the sport in 2012 at the urging of late Canadian freestyle skiing icon Sarah Burke. Burke, a leading advocate to have women’s halfpipe skiing added to the Olympic program, died after a training accident in 2012.
Lake Tahoe’s Maddie Bowman won the first-ever gold in women’s Olympic halfpipe skiing. The 20-year-old Bowman scored 89.00 in the finals to edge Marie Martinod of France. Ayana Onozuka of Japan earned the bronze. Bowman strung together a series of spins and tricks to give the U.S. a sixth gold medal at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. With her braid spinning in the chilly night air, Bowman’s performance was just good enough.