There was a commotion in the final of the women’s slopestyle final at the winter Olympics as every competitor, including Britain’s Aimee Fuller, fell over due to high winds.
The event, which sees snowboarders perform a series of tricks over man-made jumps and rails which are scored by a panel of judges, was eventually won by defending champion Jamie Anderson of the United States.
But with the cross-wind conditions making life difficult for competitors, there was a sense of relief that the final was completed with no one getting seriously injured.
‘It was pretty bad,’ said bronze medallist Ennir Rukajarvi. ‘I’m happy to land my run and get a good score but I’m most happy that no one got hurt badly. The weather was bad and too dangerous, and I got a lot of wind in my run, so that was bad, too.’
Fuller, who was considered to have an outside chance of medalling for Great Britain, finished 17th after falling on the second of her two runs.
‘On the second run I got my speed right but once I was in the air it felt like I had a sailboat under my board,’ said the 26-year-old.‘The wind ripped me sideways and there was not a chance I was going to land.’
Jenny Jones, who won slopestyle bronze for Team GB at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, slammed the organizers after all the competitors fell on at least one of their runs.
‘Of course, it’s not safe,’ she told the BBC. ‘It’s an extreme sport. You’re jumping off a 60-foot kicker and you’re almost sailing on your board. Luckily nobody was badly injured. I’d be asking why this whole thing carried on.
Austrian competitor Anna Gasser believes organizers should have halted the final, which was held at the Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang.