- Devon O'Neil, Writer, Action Sports
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ASPEN, Colo. -- Not only did Kaya Turski win her third consecutive gold medal in women's ski slopestyle Thursday, she did it by landing the first switch 1080 by a woman in Winter X Games history on the final jump of the contest's final run.
Needing a near-perfect third run to overtake leader Devin Logan (92.33), Turski left no doubt when she landed her switch 10.
"My first two runs weren't as clean as I wanted them to be, so I just decided to go for the 10," said Turski, who became the first female skier to land a 1080 in competition last April at the Nine Queens Big Air contest in Austria. "It didn't hurt that I was sitting in third place already so I had a medal. That kind of eased it and I just went for it."
Her fellow competitors mobbed her at the bottom of the course even before her 95-point score had been posted, and moments later Turski moved up from bronze to gold, relegating Logan to silver. The Canadian national team member landed all three of her runs and scored better than 88 points on each of them.
Australia's Anna Segal (90.00) took bronze after leading most of the competition, and two-time silver medalist Keri Herman settled for fourth (87.00).
Turski had ended both of her first two runs with a switch 900 before adding the extra half-rotation. Her smooth, switch landings off the rails at the top of the course also set her apart from her competitors, who made Turski earn gold with impressive runs of their own. Logan threw a cork 720 and two 540s (including one switch) in her silver-medal run, and Segal spun both ways off the jumps, a relative rarity among women. Fifth-place finisher Ashley Battersby landed switch 9s at the end of her runs.
"I definitely feel like the sport's on a fast track," Turski said. "I think everyone's getting really serious about it. I've never seen the level so high as I did today."
Added Segal: "I think a lot of governments are putting funding into the sport. I know in Australia we're getting help with trampoline coaching, with water ramp coaching, and all that kind of stuff is helping to keep us healthier and safer, and also helping us to push the sport at the same time."
Nearly every woman in the competition skied with either a sticker or an armband to honor the late Sarah Burke, who helped create the opportunity for female skiers to compete at the X Games. "We have someone watching from above that we need to make proud," Turski said. "We all need to follow in Sarah's footsteps. She was pushing the sport even when she didn't need to, she was trying new tricks, landing new tricks, and I think now it's our turn to keep pushing for her."
Check out full results from Women's Ski Slopestyle finals.
Devon O'Neil writes for ESPN.com Action Sports.
Kaya Turski pulled off a switch 1080 to take home the gold medal in the Women's Ski Slopestyle at the Winter X Games.