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Men's moguls skiers chase gold in Olympic finals

Published On: Feb 10 2014 01:41:53 PM CST
Alex Bilodeau, men's moguls qualifier round

Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Reigning champ Alex Bilodeau made Olympic history Monday by becoming the first freestyle skier to win back-to-back gold.

The Canadian won gold in the men's moguls at the Sochi Winter Olympics, with fellow Canadian Mikael Kingsbury taking silver and Russian Alexander Smyshlyaev winning bronze.

Moguls are judged on both time and style.

American Patrick Deneen finished in sixth place.

Deneen, a 26-year-old Washington state native, competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver but crashed on a run in the finals and ended up tied for 19th place.

Deneen was also a 2009 world champion in moguls and finished sixth in 2011 and third in 2013. While he has yet to win during the 2013-14 FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup season, he has reached the podium two times in moguls.

The finals for the event is knockout style over three rounds. The top 12 from the first round advance to the next round and then the top six from that round advance to the third final round. Scores clear after each round, with the top three in the third and final round winning medals.

American Bradley Wilson stumbled a bit during his run in the first round of the finals and didn't make the cut to advance. Deneen finished the first final in ninth place and was sixth in the second final.

There were two qualification rounds earlier Monday, with the top 10 from the first qualifier moving on to the final round, while the rest of the field competed for the top 10 in the second qualifier to move on.

Wilson topped all Americans in the first qualifier, coming in seventh to move on to the final. Deneen, seen as one of the medal favorites coming into the event, came in 20th in the first qualifier, but finished first in the second to advance to the finals.

Wilson, a 21-year-old from Butte, Mont., has reached the podium twice in moguls during the current World Cup season, with two third-place finishes in January. He is the reigning U.S. national champion in moguls and finished eighth in the event at the World Ski Championships last year.

He is the younger brother of 2010 Olympic bronze medalist Bryon Wilson, who failed to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics by finishing fifth in the World Cup standings.

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