KRASNAYA POLYANA, RUSSIA — The full weight of the Olympic Games came crashing down on Keri Herman at the worst possible moment.
“I was trying to keep it mellow and not let it in and process it quite yet,’’ the Bloomington native said. “I processed it right there.’’
Standing in the starting gate Tuesday for her first slopestyle ski run at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, Herman felt nauseated, frightened and excited all at once. She was less nervous during the finals, but a mistake on a simple element of her first run and two rough landings on her second left her in 10th place in slopestyle’s Winter Games debut.
Canada’s Dara Howell took gold with a top score of 94.20. Herman’s roommate, Devin Logan, earned silver with 85.40, and Canada’s Kim Lamarre won bronze with 85.00.
Herman fell on the landing of her final jump in her first qualifying run. With slushy snow and holes in the course creating problems for many skiers, she stayed conservative with her second run and qualified in 11th place with a top score of 72.40. The top 12 skiers advanced to the finals.
In the finals, she came awkwardly off the first rail — “a fluke,’’ she said — but finished strongly. Her first run in the finals scored a 50.00 and her second earned a 35.40.
“I don’t usually get nervous,’’ Herman said. “I’m pretty sure I was hit with every single emotion that you could ever have at the top (of the course). I almost threw up. I’m like, ‘What is going on?’ I don’t know how to handle that. I was scared, sad, excited, just crazy, all at the same time.
“I’m happy with the way I skied today. It was so much fun. You win some, you lose some, and I feel like I still won.’’