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US gets its first medal of the Beijing Winter Olympics

Three American women were in the finals for women's snowboard slopestyle at the Winter Olympics, one of whom was the defending queen of the event.

ZHANGJIAKOU, Hebei — Zoi Sadowski Synnott captured New Zealand’s first gold medal in Winter Olympic history, stomping down a pressure-packed run on her last trip down the mountain Sunday to win the title in women’s slopestyle.

American Julia Marino took silver to score the U.S. its first medal of the Beijing Winter Games. Two-time defending champion Jamie Anderson finished ninth and fellow American Hailey Langland finished 11th.

The 20-year-old Sadowski Synnott was one of the very few to put down a clean run on a supersized course, where hardpacked snow and bone-cold wind chills made things difficult on all 12 finalists, including two-time defending champion Jamie Anderson, who finished ninth.

Sadowski Synnott went into her last of three runs trailing Marino but came up big.

She landed a double-cork 1080 on the second jump, and while not repeating that jump the way she did when she won the Winter X Games last month, her backside 1080 off the final kicker was more than enough.

She raised her hands in the air after landing, knowing what she’d done. Marino and third-place finisher Tess Coady of Australia knew it, too. They tackled her at the finish line to celebrate.

A few minutes later, the scoreboard confirmed it, and New Zealand had its first Winter Games victory — brought home by an Australian-born shredder whose family moved to her father’s homeland when she was six.

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