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Snowboarder Lee Chae-un wins slopestyle gold at Winter Youth Olympics

Jan. 25, 2024 - 19:47 By Yonhap
Lee Chae-un of South Korea competes during the final of the men's slopestyle snowboard event at the Gangwon Winter Youth Olympics at Welli Hilli Park Ski Resort in Hoengseong, Gangwon Province, Thursday, in this photo provided by the Olympic Information Service. (Yonhap)

South Korean snowboarder Lee Chae-un grabbed the gold medal in the men's slopestyle at the Winter Youth Olympics at home Thursday, the third gold for the host country of the two-week competition.

In the final held at Welli Hilli Park Ski Resort in Hoengseong, Gangwon Province, Lee scored 96.00 points for the first of what could be as many as three gold medals at the Gangwon Winter Youth Games.

Eli Bouchard of Canada got the silver medal with 90.00 points, and Romain Allemand of France earned the bronze medal with 89.25 points.

After two qualification runs, the top 10 snowboarders advanced to the final. The best score from their three runs in the final determined the rankings.

Lee posted 91.50 points on the board in his first run, tops in the final, but only managed 37.50 points in his second run after a fall on landing. Lee's 91.50 points still stood as the top score of the final at that point.

Lee then outdid himself with 96.00 points in his final run to clinch the gold.

"I can't believe this moment. When I landed my last trick, I was so hyped," Lee said afterward, according to flash quotes provided by the Olympic Information Service. "I don't care about the score. Scores don't matter to me. I care about my tricks, and focus on my tricks. I landed them and got a perfect score. I landed a run at the Youth Olympic Games. It feels amazing."

The 17-year-old is the 2023 world champion in halfpipe, with a silver and a bronze in the discipline during the ongoing World Cup season.

Though the halfpipe is his main event, Lee entered the slopestyle and big air events at the Youth Games, too. The big air final is Sunday and the halfpipe final is next Thursday, the last day of the Youth Olympics.

"My goal is (to win) the big air gold medal and the halfpipe gold medal. So it's two more gold medals," Lee said. "Gold medals are my happiness. Just happiness." (Yonhap)