China’s Eileen Gu extended a nearly three-year ski halfpipe win streak in her return to the Winter X Games after missing the Aspen, Colorado, event last year due to injury.
Gu, a three-time 2022 Olympic medalist, landed back-to-back 900s in her first run, scoring 94.66 points, and in her third run, scoring 95.66.
Brit Zoe Atkin, last year’s champion in Gu’s absence, took second with a 90.66-point run.
Gu won her X Games debut in 2021, then took Olympic gold in 2022. Since, the 20-year-old has juggled Stanford classes, fashion modeling and skiing.
She was set to compete in her second X Games last year until injuring knee ligaments and suffering a bone bruise in a heavy training crash the day before the competition.
Gu competed this year having recently injured her right hip in training, according to commentators.
“This is probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do,” she said on the broadcast. “I’ve never skied with pain like this before, just excruciating, constant, can barely walk right now, honestly. But I think it’s really a testament to how much I love the sport.”
She is on the entry list for slopestyle on Sunday, the last day of X Games competition. Gu took slopestyle silver at the Olympics behind Swiss Mathilde Gremaud, who is also in Sunday’s field.
Earlier Saturday, Norwegian Birk Ruud won men’s ski slopestyle over Americans Alex Hall (the Olympic gold medalist) and Mac Forehand.