Angeli Vanlaanen took a three-year break from competitive skiing to recover from Lyme Disease and then came back strong enough to clinch a spot on the inaugural U.S. Olympic Team for halfpipe skiing. (Getty Images/AFP/Javier Soriano)
Maddie Bowman became the first-ever women’s Olympic halfpipe skiing champion Thursday, taking gold in the sport’s debut at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
Athletes completed the final training for halfpipe skiing Monday despite fog at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
Olympians David Wise and Maddie Bowman both grabbed X Games gold at the halfpipe skiing final in Aspen Friday night, just a few weeks before the historic halfpipe skiing debut at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Angeli VanLaanen secured her spot on the first-ever Olympic team for halfpipe skiing Saturday with her win at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix.
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Angeli Vanlaanen brings new definition to the term “comeback”. After taking a three- year hiatus from competitive skiing to recover from Lyme Disease, Vanlaanen returned to the freeskiing scene with more hunger and passion than ever and landed herself a spot on inaugural U.S. Olympic Halfpipe Team. Vanlaanen started her 2013-2014 season as an Olympic hopeful, and with her signature smooth style and amplitude she sealed podium finishes at the first and last Olympic qualification events and clinched her ticket to Sochi. There, she proudly represented her country and finished 11th in the first-ever Olympic halfpipe skiing event. Vanlaanen also finished third in the AFP Halfpipe World Ranking after the most grueling competition season to date.
Angeli Vanlaanen emerged from the Northwest into the halfpipe skiing world with back-to-back wins at the Vermont Open in 2005 and 2006. Her first X Games invite in 2007 kicked off her professional career, and she went on to place third at the U.S. Open and first at the New Zealand Open that year. After being diagnosed with Lyme Disease in November of 2009, Vanlaanen took a three-year break from competition to recover. Her comeback season kicked off with a second-place finish at the New Zealand Open in 2012 and then wrapped up with a sixth in the FIS World Championships and a ninth in the 2013 AFP halfpipe rankings.
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