Canada's Dara Howell wins gold, Kim Lamarre bronze in slopestyle skiing

Canada has its fourth gold medal of the Sochi Olympics.

Dara Howell of Huntsville, Ont., won the inaugural women's slopestyle ski competition Tuesday after scoring 94.20 in her first run.

Quebec City's Kim Lamarre won bronze after with 85.00 on her second run.

Yuki Tsubota of Whistler, B.C., was taken off the course on a stretcher after a nasty crash off a jump.

It appeared that Tsubota's knee was driven into her face as she tried to make the landing.

Tsubota finished sixth with a 71.60 first run.

Medal favourite Kaya Turski of Montreal fell twice in qualifying.

Turski slid off the box at the top of the course and landed face down, taking her time before gingerly getting back up and slowly skiing down. She separated her shoulder in the fall — a chronic problem — and popped it back in herself on the course.

On the second run, she fell on the final jump.

It was just the latest in a string of bad luck for the 25-year-old, who underwent knee surgery in August. While she returned to win the X Games two weeks ago, she was promptly bit by a virus that sapped her energy here.

"I've just been feeling low the last two weeks," she said. "I've been fighting this. It's Day 15 and I'm still kind of struggling.

"I struggled this morning in practice and kind of lost confidence and hesitated my first run. That's what happened (leading up to the fall). Second run, kind of a bobble, I think."

Despite her struggles, she was thrilled for her teammates, tweeting at them following their medal performances.

"Wow!!! @DaraHowell you just won the Olympics!" she siad. "Proud of you kid. You skied amazing. Hats off to my very talented Canadian teammate."

To Lemarre she said "YOU DID IT!!!! Ahhhhh!!!! No one deserves this more. Congrats my girl."

Freestyle skiers have been mostly responsible for Canada's run of gold medals with Justine Dufour-Lapointe winning in women's moguls and Alexandre Bilodeau taking the men's moguls. Short-track speedskater Charles Hamelin has the fourth gold.

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