Norway’s Birk Ruud won the men’s freeski big air gold medal, powered by a 1,980-degree jump — 5 1/2 rotations — that no competitor could match. Colby Stevenson of the United States came closest, earning a silver medal.
It represents an inspirational comeback story for Stevenson, 24. In 2016, he had a near-fatal car accident in the middle of the night in rural Idaho while returning from a skiing event. He sustained 30 fractures to his skull and spent three days in an induced coma. His slow recovery delayed the prime of his career, but Stevenson returned and became one of the top freeskiers of the past couple of seasons, a contender in both big air and slopestyle.
On Wednesday at Shougang Park, where Eileen Gu had won the women’s gold a day earlier in the same event, Stevenson landed a 1,620 and an 1,800, two of the highest-scoring tricks in the contest. But the combination of scores left him just short of Ruud.
Sweden’s Henrik Harlaut won bronze.