Maddie Bowman already has one Olympic gold medal on her resume. She won the first ever gold medal in women’s ski halfpipe at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. If you throw in her multiple X-Games medals, including five gold, Bowman is one of the most decorated female skiers in history.
The South Lake Tahoe, California native suffered a season-ending injury after the Sochi Olympics in 2015. She returned to action in 2016 and finished 3rd in the World Cup halfpipe standings. According to her U.S. Ski and Snowboard bio: “She earned her fourth-consecutive gold at X Games Aspen in 2016 with a run that included back-to-back 900s and the first switch 900 ever thrown by a female skier in competition.”
Bowman followed that up with a 5th place World Cup finish in 2017 as she geared up for another run at Olympic gold in PyeongChang.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Won Gold in Women’s Halfpipe in Sochi
She posted an incredible score of 89.00 on her final run in the women’s ski halfpipe final to win the first Olympic gold medal in the history of the event. Men’s and women’s ski halfpipe was added to the Sochi Olympic program in 2011 when it was approved by the IOC. The popular X-Games event has similar rules to the snowboarding version, except it’s done on skis.
After Sochi, Bowman suffered a torn ACL and microfracture to her right knee suffered in February of 2015. She would return to the slopes a year later in 2016 and continue her success. Bowman burst onto the scene in 2012 winning three Dew Tour medals and earning an invitation to the X-Games, where Bowman won silver in her first appearance. She followed that up the following year with a gold medal at the X-Games. In the months leading up to Sochi, Bowman finished the season ranked first, making her the gold-medal favorite in the first Olympic ski halfpipe event.
2. She Has Won Multiple X-Games Medals
Five golds, two silvers and two bronze medals to be exact. Her most recent gold came at the 2018 X-Games in superpipe, it was the 10th X-Games appearance in Bowman’s impressive career.
According to her X-Games bio: “The second skier to take 4 straight gold at XG Aspen (Ophelie David), Maddie Bowman has 8 total XG medals in SuperPipe: 4 gold; 2 silver; 2 bronze. This 2014 Olympic halfpipe champion also picked up a Subaru sponsorship post Sochi and gets a new Subaru Outback every year. Maddie hosted an all-women’s photo/jib session called Recess in 2016 and 2017 at her home mountain of Sierra-at-Tahoe. The goal was to help women progress their skiing and have access to photogs and filmers.
3. Both Of Bowman’s Parents Were Skiers
Skiing runs in the family for Bowman. According to her U.S. Ski and Snowboard bio: ” Her father was on the professional racing circuit and her mother raced in the Far West division and later became a coach. Her parents started her on skis on her second birthday on a small slope behind Sierra-at-Tahoe’s lodge, the mountain that she now represents.”
Bowman also admits she had a change of heart when she was young and decided not to join the pro racing circuit. Instead she fell in love with freeskiing.
4. She Enjoys The Outdoors
That’s no surprise considering she is from the ski town of South Lake Tahoe, California. According to her U.S. Ski and Snowboard bio, she enjoys a variety of activities including mountain biking, hiking, wakebording and backpacking.
“In the summer I try to do something outdoors every day. I try to live a really active life and am easily bored when I have too much down time. If I’m not competing or training and I have an opportunity to ski, you can definitely find me on the hill,” she told Team USA.There is some debate about whether the man in the above facebook picture is Bowman’s boyfriend. One of their friends commented “Cuties!” which implies a romantic involvement, but Bowman has not confirmed he is her boyfriend, and he is not tagged in the picture.There are several pictures of them together on Bowman’s facebook page.
5. Bowman’s Pro Career Started While She Was Still in High School
According to her U.S. Ski and Snowboard bio, Bowman burst onto the scene her senior year in high school: “Her 2012 breakout season featured podiums at nearly every major event. She sealed a victory at the Killington, VT Dew Tour stop and also took third at Snowbasin, UT, which merited an invite to her very first X Games in Aspen and resulted in a silver medal. Bowman’s first X Games gold came in 2013, followed by a bronze at X Games Tignes and victories at both stops of the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix. She then topped it all off with her first AFP halfpipe title.”
She was just 15 years old when she placed sixth at the U.S. Championships. According to an ESPN report: “A year later, Bowman won the first of two straight bronze medals at the same event. She entered the international halfpipe scene in 2011 while still in high school and made her first World Cup podium with a bronze at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., in 2012.”