Snowboarder Julia Marino Wins Team USA's First Medal of Beijing Winter Olympics with Silver in Slopestyle

The Westport, Connecticut, native, 24, scored her highest score of 87.68 during her second of three runs

Julia Marino

Julia Marino had a surprise upset to win the silver medal in the women's slopestyle!

The Westport, Connecticut, native, 24, scored her highest score of 87.68 during her second of three runs on Sunday in Beijing.

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, 20, won New Zealand's first slopestyle gold medal and first gold in any event at the Winter Games with 92.88 in her third run. Australia's Tess Coady scored bronze with 84.15.

"It's a run I've been wanting to put down for a long time and you know this season didn't necessarily get to put that one down and to do it here just means a whole lot different than anything else," Marino told NBC after capturing silver.

"I'm just so over the moon to have landed that top to bottom," she said. "I'm so happy for all the girls out here, like we have a great crew. We're all really good friends and it just means a lot to me to watch all these girls really ride their best. That wasn't an easy course by any means. I'm so proud of us like we all pulled through and I couldn't be happier to be in that final with those girls."

Of Sadowski-Synnott, Marino said: "Zoi's an inspiration to all of us. She's the best rider right now and she's just like making us all push our levels, I just couldn't be happier for her. She's a great person and a great rider and I love to share the podium with her. I'm more than happy."

Women's Slopestyle

Team USA's Jamie Anderson, a slopestyle pioneer and three-time Olympian, finished in ninth. Anderson previously won two consecutive gold medals, at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games and 2014 Sochi Games, when the discipline made its Olympic debut.

At the 2018 Olympics, Marino was 11th in slopestyle and finished 10th in big air.

The overall first medals of the 2022 Winter Games were won on Saturday, with Norway's Therese Johaug taking gold, followed by Russian Olympic Committee's Natalia Nepryaeva, and Teresa Stadlober of Austria, with the silver and bronze, respectively.

This Games, Team USA has 224 athletes competing in Beijing, ranging in age from 16 years old to 40 years old. Events began on Thursday (Eastern) and will continue through Feb. 20.

To learn more about Team USA, visit Watch the Winter Olympics, now, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.

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