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Eileen Gu wins gold for China in women's freeski big air

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Eileen Gu wins gold for China in women's freeski big air
China's gold medalist Eileen Gu reacts in the finish after her final jump at the Olympic women's freeski big air final at the Shougang venue of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Tuesday. Photo by Paul Hanna/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 7 (UPI) -- California native Eileen Gu won the gold medal for China in women's freeski big air in Beijing on Tuesday in a nail-biter of a final.

Gu, dubbed China's Snow Queen, won the medal with an impressive 188.25, a combined score of her best two of three runs at Big Air Shougang.

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"That was the best moment of my life," Gu said following her victory. "I just cannot believe what just happened."

Her final run that all but sealed her victory consisted of a 1620, a 4 1/2 rotation, making her the only third women to pull of the a move.

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As she completed the jump, the 18-year-old San Francisco resident screamed "Oh my God!" as the crowd erupted in cheers.

The trick earned her a 94.50 with only two other skiers remaining, including Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland and Tess Ledeux of France, Gu's closest rival.

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Gu took an early lead in the event with her first run with a double cork 1440 but was pushed into second by Ledeux who pulled off a 1620, becoming only the second woman in the sport to do so.

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Gu was then pushed down to third behind Ledeux and Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland following the second run.

Following the San Fransisco resident, Gremaud on her final run made an attempt at a big air trick but crashed on the landing, earning her a score of 26, her worst of the event, but she had already earned enough for bronze, leaving only Ledeux to challenge Gu for the gold.

Ledeux performed a strong jump on her last run, but landed on one foot for her worst score of 73.50, leaving her with an 187.50 from her first two runs and the silver medal.

Gu will seek to podium again in the women's freeski halfpipe and slopestyle later in the Olympics.

American Darian Stevens finished 11 in the women's freeski big air on Tuesday with a score of 64.50.

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Mikaela Shiffrin of the USA skis her final Olympic event on the last day of the games in the mixed team parallel event at the Winter Olympics in Beijing on February 20, 2022. The USA placed fourth in the event. Photo by Rick T. Wilking/UPI | License Photo

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