February 8

Dufour-Lapointe sisters go 1-2 in Olympic moguls

Hannah Kearney of the United States wins the bronze.

By Eddie Pells
The Associated Press

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – The Dufour-Lapointe family of Canada will have a few things to share and compare when they get home from Russia.

click image to enlarge

United States’ Hannah Kearney competes in the women’s moguls final 1 at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics on Saturday in Krasnaya Polyana.

The Associated Press

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Canada’s Justine Dufour-Lapointe, center, celebrates her gold medal in the women’s moguls final, with her sister and silver medalist Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, left, and bronze medalist United States’ Hannah Kearney, at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

The Associated Press

Try Olympic gold and silver medals.

Youngest sister Justine took the gold in women’s moguls Saturday night and middle sister Chloe got the second-place prize.

Oldest sister Maxime also made it into the finals, where she finished 12th – a more-than-interested onlooker to a slice of Olympic history. Justine and Chloe join French skiers Marieele and Christine Goitschel and Austrian lugers Doris and Angelika Neuner on the short list of sisters to win Olympic gold and silver in the same event.

“The path we walked, we did this side-by-side,” Maxime said. “These tears I’m crying, these tears are not of disappointment. They’re tears of joy.”

Their father, Yves, was crying those same tears.

“A dream. A long time, we’ve dreamed this,” he said. “It doesn’t get any better than this. It doesn’t.”

Over the past year, Justine Dufour-Lapointe has proven one of the few moguls skiers who could challenge American Hannah Kearney, who was the defending champion and also strung together 16 straight wins during a span from 2011-12.

On the biggest stage, the 19-year-old Justine more than challenged. She beat Kearney.

Going third-from-last, Justine set the bar with a straight, solid run – skis pointed straight downhill and the bright red knee pads that help the judges gauge the quality of the run moving together in unison. Her jumps – a 360-degree twist and a back layout – were simple and ramrod straight. She scored a 22.44 – a combination of her speed, her work through the moguls and 12.5 percent for each jump.

Chloe, 22, who finished fifth at the Vancouver Games and was the only sister with Olympic experience, came next. Her jumps were a bit more complex – they both involved crossing her skis – but the run itself was a little less clean. She scored 21.66.

Kearney went last, with a chance to become the first skier to go back-to-back in 22-year history of Olympic freestyle. But it was her landing after the first jump, one she had trouble with in practice, then during two earlier runs as well, that tripped her up. Her left ski went flailing up and she struggled to keep her balance.

Kearney’s final jump, which includes a difficult grab of her ski, wasn’t enough to make up for the earlier problems.

“The run felt like a battle more than an accomplishment,” Kearney said. “It was mine to take and I felt like I gave it away.”

She stood there, glassy-eyed, during the flower ceremony. Justine, meanwhile, grabbed her sister’s hand as the two ascended the first- and second-place steps.

“Holding Chloe’s hand meant that I wasn’t alone,” Justine said. “I was in shock. I saw Chloe and I felt calm. Holding her hand, I knew it would feel more like home.”

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