China's Xu Mengtao made Olympics history Monday as she became the first woman from her country to win gold in the Winter Games ski aerials event.
She landed a jump with three somersaults to win gold in women's aerials on a frigid evening and instantly knew her run was a gold-medal worthy jump, too, pointing up at the sky soon after landing.
She later leaned back and screamed into the cold air as the temperature hovered around minus 23 degrees Celsius (minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit).
Xu scored a 108.61 to edge defending champion Hanna Huskova of Belarus. American Megan Nick was a surprise bronze medalist, holding off teammate Ashley Caldwell.
The 28-year-old Caldwell was the last to go after posting the highest score over the first two jumps of the final, which trimmed the field to six. She hit her back on the snow while landing her final jump.
Caldwell won a gold medal last week in the Olympic debut of mixed team aerials.
In the other events, France's Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron broke their own ice dance world record to win the Olympic gold medal that narrowly eluded them four years ago in Pyeongchang.
The last figure skaters on the ice for the free dance, Papadakis and Cizeron scored 136.15 points to "Elegie" by the early 20th-century French composer Gabriel Faure.
That gave them 226.98 points, beating their previous mark of 226.61 set at the 2019 NHK Trophy in Japan. It was enough to hold off Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov.
The Russian world champions took silver with 220.51 points while the American duo of Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue claimed bronze in their final Olympics. The two have already announced they plan to retire.
Another pair of Americans, Madison Chock and Evan Bates finished fourth.
Chinese skiing sensation Eileen Gu, in the meantime, made it through to slopestyle finals in freestyle skiing. She overcame a number of bobbles in her first qualifying run to nail down a solid second trip down the mountain and secure her spot in the top 12.
The 18-year-old American-born freestyler is competing for her mother's home country of China at the Beijing Games. She won the gold medal in big air last week, and will also compete in the halfpipe contest later this week.
While Gu awaited her score after the second run, she stood at the bottom and ate a dumpling. Then, she rushed off to the halfpipe, where the practice had begun about an hour earlier.
The slopestyle final is set for Tuesday.
Austria claimed the men's ski jumping team title at the Beijing Olympics on Monday, coming from behind to edge out Slovenia.
The Austrians trailed Slovenia, who have enjoyed unprecedented ski jumping success at the Beijing Games, until the penultimate jump when Jan Hoerl put them in the lead with a 137.5-meter effort.
Manuel Fettner, who claimed silver on the men's normal hill last week, clinched the gold with the Austrians' final jump.
The Austrian team, which also included Stefan Kraft and Daniel Huber, finished top with 942.7 points.
Slovenia had never won an Olympic ski jumping gold medal before the Beijing Games, but Ursa Bogataj won the women's individual competition and they also claimed another in the new mixed team event.
The men's team of Lovro Kos, Cene Prevc, Timi Zajc and Peter Prevc could not complete the hat-trick but took silver on 934.4.
Germany, featuring World Cup leader Karl Geiger, who has largely struggled in Beijing, took bronze on 922.9.
Defending champions Norway, who counted individual large hill champion Marius Lindvik in their ranks, finished a disappointing fourth on 922.1.