Bongpyeong, South Korea • A single thump from the loudspeaker sounded like a racing heartbeat, as Brita Sigourney waited.

“Come on,” she said impatiently.

And when the halfpipe skier’s score finally appeared on the board, Sigourney embraced her American teammate, Annalisa Drew. Four years ago in Sochi, Sigourney was on the other end of a hug like that, walking away from her first Olympics without a medal. This time, bronze felt like gold.

“I’m, like, still in shock,” the California native and Westminster College student Sigourney said, an American flag draped over her shoulders. “I didn’t know that I could do that.”

Sigourney was nervous and nauseous and sitting in fourth place as she pointed her skis downward for her third and final run on Tuesday morning. Once she got going, Sigourney was in her element. She went big, rode clean and stomped all five of her hits for a score of 91.60, putting her behind only gold medalist Cassie Sharpe, of Canada, and silver medalist Marie Martinod, of France.

“I’ve been skiing well all week,” Sigourney said. “You just have to do it at the right time.”

Sigourney’s final run also bumped Drew down to fourth place.

“I knew she had it as soon as she dropped in,” Drew said.


“I know Brita,” she said.

The two Americans waited together for the Sigourney’s score to come in, then hugged when they finally did.

“I’m super stoked for Brita,” Drew said.

“We love each other and we both want each other to do so well,” Sigourney added. “Obviously it’s kind of an uncomfortable spot, but I think at the end of the day just having Anna’s support and her telling me she loves me and she’s proud of me, it takes everything away.”

In Sochi, it was Sigourney telling a teammate to enjoy her moment as Maddie Bowman skied her way to a gold medal.

But after three knee surgeries, two shoulder surgeries, one thumb surgery and one ankle surgery in her career followed by four years to reflect on her first Olympic experience, Sigourney came to South Korea wanting hardware.

“I think I wanted it more this time,” she said. “At my first Olympics, I didn’t know what to expect and I was just happy to be there. But this time I really wanted it.”

On Tuesday, Bowman, who lives in Utah and attends Westminster College, fell on the final hit of each of her three runs as she tried to put together back-to-back 900-degree spins.

“I’m so excited for Brita,” Bowman said after an 11th-place finish. “She’s worked so hard for this and has wanted it so bad. I’ve watched her through the ups and downs. It’s awesome to watch her walk away with a medal.”