Thankfully, Russ Henshaw didn’t break a bone when he face-planted while attempting a triple cork on the final run of the men’s ski slopestyle.
But the disappointment of missing out on a medal was slightly softened when he declared he was about to obliterate a 14-month alcohol ban in the lead-up to the Winter Olympics.
“I haven’t had a beer in 14 months,” he said. “I might have one tonight.”
Henshaw, 22, had played in cautiously in qualification, but wanted to nail the triple in the final to figure in the medals. He came to Sochi as a warm medal prospect, but finished ninth with a top score of 80.40 from his two runs.
The USA filled all three medal positions of an engrossing final, with Joss Christensen (95.80), Gus Kenworthy (93.60) and Nick Goepper (92.40) filling the podium.
All three landed the triples that Henshaw could not.
"I had a crack, got close, whatever,” he said. “The triple didn’t quite come around. That’s the first one I’ve tried since I came here. I’m glad I gave it a crack."
"I hadn’t done one in training. I’ve been trying to feel this course out the whole time. In the morning, it’s icy. In the afternoon, it’s like soup."
“I saw two or three triples (attempted) in training. I saw some people land them but some have bad crashes. In the final, I wanted to go for it. I’m glad I’m in one piece.”
Henshaw said a crash at X Games a fornight ago was a factor.
“That’s made my body a bit sore,” he said. “Just managing with that has been the challenge in the lead-up to this.”
Asked if he had injured himself when he fell in his final run, he said: “Just a bit of snow down my pants.