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Olympic preview: Women's freeski halfpipe

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With slopestyle now complete, Olympic freeskiing resumes with a series of halfpipe competitions. The women will be up first, with qualifying taking place Monday morning in PyeongChang (Sunday night in the U.S.), followed by the final one day later.


Team USA's Maddie Bowman is the defending gold medalist, but a wave of progression over the last four years has given her more rivals than ever before.


Here's a look at five skiers to know for this year's women's halfpipe competition.


Cassie Sharpe, Canada: The gold medal favorite in women's halfpipe. The 25-year-old has emerged over the last year or two as the top skier in this discipline thanks to progressive tricks like the cork 1080, smooth execution and good amplitude in her halfpipe runs. She recently broke her thumb while competing at X Games but still managed to come away with a bronze medal.


Maddie Bowman, United States: The reigning Olympic champion. Bowman won gold in Sochi, where ski halfpipe made its Olympic debut. She remains one of the top medal contenders thanks to a progressive bag of tricks that includes back-to-back 900s. Bowman won gold at X Games Aspen last month and has now won the event five of the last six years.


Marie Martinod, France: The 2014 Olympic silver medalist and the only skier other than Bowman to win gold at X Games Aspen in this discipline since 2013. At 33, Martinod will be the oldest skier in the field. She already retired once (from 2006-2011) before coming back when ski halfpipe was added to the Olympic program. Martinod is known for her style and execution.


Brita Sigourney, United States: This will be Sigourney's second Olympic appearance. (She finished sixth in 2014.) Sigourney has been a force on the contest scene for a number of years, but she's carrying a lot of momentum into the PyeongChang Olympics after several strong results at U.S. Grand Prix events and a silver medal at X Games.


Devin Logan, United States: The only freeskier competing in both slopestyle and halfpipe at these Winter Olympics. Logan participated in the slopestyle event two days ago and finished in 10th place. (She won the silver medal in that discipline in Sochi.) This will be her first time competing at the Olympics in halfpipe.



How to Watch


NBCOlympics.com will be streaming every round of every competition live online. Links to each stream are below.


Women's Qualifying: Sunday, Feb. 18, 8:00 p.m. ET
LIVE STREAM


Women's Final: Monday, Feb. 19, 8:30 p.m. ET
LIVE STREAM









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