Freestyle skiing events in the Olympics are scored in a very specific manner. Each athlete is given three runs in the finals, and the top two scores in those three runs are added together to give a final score. This is why, on lucky occasions, athletes are given celebration runs. If the last person to go has already won with their first two runs, then their third run is basically mute. By the time Norwegian Birk Ruud was up for his final run, he had already won gold. Henrik Harlaut finished his third run with a 181.00 final score to earn bronze, and American Colby Stevenson earned a 183.00 for silver. Ruud had a 187.75 after his second run. As gold was already in his pocket, so he grabbed the Norwegian flag and took his third and final run.
The judges didn’t really have to worry about scoring Ruud’s last run. It didn’t matter, he had already won. So, instead of “judging Ruud fairly” or whatever you want to call it, audiences were presented with the glorious beauty of six “69”‘s across their tv screen. That’s right, all six judges, all six 69’s. One of the best displays of the freestyle skiing attitude out there. Wish I could find a video clip of the score being handed out but I’m thinking NBC is trying to downplay this bit of Olympic history:
Image Credit: NBC Sports