The most intense freestyle skiing season of Max Moffatt’s career has been capped by a ninth-place finish in men’s slopestyle at the Beijing Olympics.
Moffatt earned 70.40 points in his third run to finish in the top 10 at the international event on Wednesday. That result comes after the native of Caledon, Ont., won silver in slopestyle at the X-Games on Jan. 23 in Aspen, Colo.
“It’s been an insane season. Obviously I would have liked to do better here and it is a little disappointing, but it’s been a crazy season, probably the most insane season in my life,” said the 23-year-old Moffatt. “Just happy to be skiing well and having fun.
“I’m just trying to stay in the moment and enjoy it because we don’t know how many years we can do this.”
Moffatt was up against especially stiff competition on Wednesday as the medallists said they didn’t just have the best performance of the day, but the best of their careers.
Alexander Hall of the United States won gold with 90.01 in his first run.
“It definitely was the best slopestyle run I’ve ever done, mainly because it embodied everything I love about skiing and how I approach skiing,” said Hall. “I didn’t fade away from that to try and maybe get bigger scores or something.”
Fellow American Nicholas Goepper took silver with 86.48 in his second run and Jesper Tjader of Sweden earned bronze with 85.35 in his first run.
Tjader finally earned a medal in his third Olympic appearance.
“My goal with the Olympics is to land my best run ever, and today I finally landed it,” said Tjader. “I couldn’t be more stoked.”
In his first run, Moffatt ended a rail slide too early, leading to a score of 47.18. Then in the second run he was a little tighter in his technical elements for 65.31.
He said there’s some positives to take away from his Olympic slopestyle experience.
“Unfortunately, I felt like I had a little more gas in the tank to try and get a better run down,” said Moffatt. “Just got caught up in the rails there, but that’s slopestyle, that’s the way it goes.
“Sometimes it isn’t your day but I’m still happy to be here and happy to be alive.”
Beijing was Moffatt’s Olympic debut. He placed 20th in the freeski big air event before competing in slopestyle, his specialty.
“It’s been incredible. It was pretty, pretty cool to be here,” said Moffatt. “Just feels like it’s been a pretty stressful process getting here and now finally being here is just a relief.”