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Team USA topped, even swept, the freeskiing podiums in halfpipe and slopestyle's debut in Sochi, Russia, this month, taking six of 12 available medals—including three of the four gold. In the disciplines' first Olympic offering, Americans rose to the occasion and delivered sharp, solid performances in sometimes difficult conditions, cementing freeskiing's place in the Winter Games and pushing aside any concern that this contemporary version of schussing would fail to impress the world.
Alpine ski racing has a long and storied history in Europe, and the continent continues to turn out some of the fastest and most skilled athletes in the Winter Games every four years. But America is the birthplace of freeskiing, home to the resorts where, back in the '80s, skiers started shaking off the pressure of the gates and the stopwatch and began allowing creativity and fun to guide their lines. We've got the talent, the up-for-anything attitude, and, most importantly, the resources to encourage the type of progression pipe and slope skiing demand. In fact, a cadre of international athletes, such as Kaya Turski, often makes their seasonal home in the States during the winters to take advantage of the next-level training facilities.
Check out the video above to hear why professional freeskier Colby West thinks the American skiers had the advantage in Sochi.
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