British teenager Kirsty Muir finished fifth in the inaugural Big Air final as Eileen Gu took gold for hosts China.
The 17-year-old Aberdeen Muir schoolgirl, the youngest member of Britain’s 50-person squad in Beijing, had qualified seventh for the final.
In the final, her first run of 90.25 points thanks to a 1260 put her in bronze medal position, but she couldn’t duplicate it in the next two rounds.
About her Olympic debut, she said: “Honestly, I’m so happy right now, the level was crazy. It’s incredible. I couldn’t have hoped to ski better today and I’m so proud of all the girls.
Gu is the undeniable poster child for these Games. A former American athlete, she switched allegiance to compete for China – her mother was born in Beijing.
But the Big Air was arguably considered the weakest of the three events she will compete in at these Games.
She sat in third place going into her final run, but produced a stunning 1620 to tie the highest individual score of the three runs.
Early leader Tess Ledeux of France couldn’t do better with her final attempt to finish just 0.75 points behind Gu’s winning score of 188.25.
“It was the best moment of my life,” Gu said after his win. “The greatest time, day, anything in my life. I just can’t believe what just happened.
About her last race 1620 she said: “It was a lap I had never done before, never attempted before. I was like ‘should I improve on my previous one and go for the silver or should I pull out this random spin that I’ve never done before and go for the gold?
“In my head, I wanted to represent myself and this style of competition that I’m really proud of, and this desire to push myself and push the sport. Even if I didn’t land it, I felt it would send a message to the world and hopefully encourage more girls to push their limits.