KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Don't suggest to Keri Herman that winning a medal is all that matters at the Olympics.
Herman was rated as a medal contender in the Olympic debut of ski slopestyle Tuesday at Rose Khutor Extreme Park, but barely made the 12-woman final. She finished 10th overall, yet she was buoyant after scoring a modest 50.00 in the best of her two finals runs, and happily provided a play-by-play of teammate Devin Logan's second run while talking to reporters.
Logan was silver medalist at 85.40 between Canadians Dara Howell (94.20) and Kim Lamarre (85.00).
"I just like being here," said Herman, 31, a native of Minneapolis who lives in Breckenridge, Colo. "Obviously a medal is ideal, that's what I was really hoping to get. But someone else got it, and I'm happy for them."
Herman fell on her last jump during the first qualifying run, then in a conservative second run scored 72.40, advancing to the finals 11th out of 12.
In the finals, Herman slipped off the first rail at the start of what otherwise was her best run on soft snow. She didn't have a second-run comeback this time, sitting down and scoring 35.40.
"I just got stuck a little bit (on the rail) and it flung me sideways," Herman said. "That was a fluke, but that happens sometimes. You've got to work with the hand you're dealt and apparently I got dealt the joker that run.
"We're landing in so much slush, some of the holes are deep. It's terrifying. My feet were getting caught. Normally we wouldn't be trying to do are gnarliest tricks because we're getting stuck. But right now it's like (expletive) it, here we go, let's do it."
Herman has big plans for the rest of the Olympics including spending time with her parents.
"I have tickets to all the hockey games," said Herman, a former hockey player who is friends with U.S. men's captain Zach Parise of Minneapolis. "I'm going to cheer him on. I want to watch the boys (ski slopestyle), I want to watch the halfpipe, I want to see everything. Now that I'm not stressed, it's going to be great."