South Lake Tahoe native Maddie Bowman burst onto the halfpipe scene in 2012, and two years later into the history books by winning the first-ever Olympic gold medal in women’s halfpipe skiing. It’s safe to say that for 20-year-old Bowman, 2014 was a year she will remember for the rest of her life.
Having earned four podium finishes at five of the Olympic qualification events (two of them were wins), Bowman clinched her ticket to Sochi by the third competition. Before heading off to Russia for the Games, Bowman made a quick stop in Aspen where she bagged her second-straight X Games gold medal. Bowman turned up the heat yet again at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games and put down two unbeatable runs to take home the gold medal. Her first run included back-to-back 900’s, something she had never done before, which shows that Bowman knows how to step it up when it counts the most. She then finished the historic 2014 season by winning her second-straight AFP halfpipe title.
As a high school senior, Maddie Bowman came onto the women’s freeskiing circuit with some serious gusto. Her 2012 breakout season featured podiums at nearly every major event. She sealed a victory at the Killington, VT Dew Tour stop and also took third at Snowbasin, UT, which merited an invite to her very first X Games in Aspen and resulted in a silver medal. Bowman’s first X Games gold came in 2013, followed by a bronze at X Games Tignes and victories at both stops of the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix. She then topped it all off with her first AFP halfpipe title.
After spending the better part of two seasons battling knee injuries, it appears Bowman is back and better than ever in 2015/16, following up her fourth X Games halfpipe gold medal on Jan 29 with a win at the Park City World Cup a week later, on January 6.
While her winning run in Park City was impressive enough on its own - with back-to-back 900s and the consistent amplitude and style throughout that some of her competitors can only dream of - throwing down that run facing the pressure of being the final skier of the day in a do-or-die last run made it doubly so.
Bowman is back, and can anybody stop her?