Maddie Bowman closer to Olympics with spot in Friday finals in Snowmass

[South Tahoe Now]

Reigning Olympic gold medalist halfpipe skier Maddie Bowman celebrated both her birthday Wednesday and a ticket to the finals of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Snowmass this weekend.

The 24-year-old South Lake Tahoe native competed against the top eight women half pipe skiers, qualifying easily behind Cassie Sharpe, the 2016 X Games Oslo champion.

While no one has officially locked up an Olympic spot, Maddie Bowman is essentially a sure thing. The 2014 Olympic gold medalist already has met the objective criteria with two podiums — she was second at Mammoth and third at Dew Tour — and only needs to finish runner-up in Snowmass to ...