Huntsville’s Dara Howell wins gold medal in slope style skiing at Sochi Olympics
HUNTSVILLE – An incredible first run by Dara Howell had ski fans here celebrating overnight as she won a Canada’s first slope style gold medal at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games early this morning.
Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Hill was electric between 4:30 and 5 a.m. as the Huntsville skier scored 94.20 on her first run and cruised to victory on her second as her family including parents, Doug and Dee who own a Huntsville resort, and Dara’s grandmother who all watched her in person at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
While a half dozen other skiers fell or missed rails – including her teammate Yuki Tsubota who had to be carried off the hill course – Howell’s near-perfect run saw her win Canada’s fourth gold of the games.
Teammate Kim Lamarre took the bronze with a top score of 85.00. She was just edged out by American Devin Logan who second with a run of 85.40.
But after hitting all the elements of the rails, flips and taking a jump backward on that amazing winning run, all Howell had to do was enjoy the moment as she was crowned a champion for her victory lap.
And what a moment.
Howell, who q qualified second for the medal round, was simply unbeatable.
And her supporters back at Huntsville went wild when her nearest challenger Logan failed to equal the Canadian’s top score.
They were at the ski hill for a planned party after midnight that continued well into the morning to watch CBC TV coverage on the big and small screens and share in the incredible moment for the small hill.
And it lasted until they saw a beaming Howell handed her gold medal.
Among those on hand at Hidden Valley was MP Tony Clement.
“My congratulations go out to Dara for all the hard work in getting to this amazing result. I know all Canadians share in just how proud we all are. It was my honour to attend part of the celebrations at HiddenValley where she grew up skiing,“ said Clement.
See photo gallery of today’s incredible
gold medal by Howell, below. Click on photos to enlarge.
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