ASPEN, CO Canada’s Sarah Burke put her recent past behind her Thursday night and reclaimed the women’s halfpipe skiing gold at the Winter X Games in Aspen, CO. Brita Sigourney (Carmel, CA) finished second behind Burke in her X Games debut.
After a horrific slopestyle crash resulted in a broken back at X Games 13, Burke missed the halfpipe podium last year before recapturing her title in 2011. She is the first woman to win halfpipe skiing four times (2007-2009, 2011).
Burke squeaked into the finals with the last qualification spot, but threw down the big run when it counted, scoring a 91.33 on her second run en route to the victory. That run featured a 720, a corked 900, and a pair of flairs.
Behind Burke finished X Games rookie Sigourney and Canada's Roz Groenewoud, who has won two X Games halfpipe skiing bronze medals in two years.
Sigourney, a 21-year old college student from UC Davis, burst onto the freeskiing scene this summer, winning the FIS Junior World Championship halfpipe skiing title in New Zealand.
She and fellow American Jen Hudak (Salt Lake City), last year's halfpipe skiing gold medalist, are considered two of the world's strongest competitors heading into FIS World Freestyle Skiing Championships.
Hudak who finished third after the elimination round, was unable to defend her title in the finals, sliding out on a huge 1080 and finishing fifth.
Hudak won't have to wait long for another shot at gold as she, Sigourney and the rest of the U.S. halfpipe skiers will compete against the world's best at the World Champs at Park City Mountain Resort on Feb. 3.
2011 Winter X Games
Aspen, CO – Jan. 27, 2011
Women's Halfpipe Skiing
1. Sarah Burke, Canada, 91.33
2. Brita Sigourney, Carmel, CA, 86.00
3. Roz Groenewoud, Canada, 84.00
5. Jen Hudak, Salt Lake City, 78.00
6. Devin Logan, West Dover, VT, 68.33
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