Wallberg beat Kingsbury in the second round, then sliced and diced his way through his super-final run with blistering speed to produce the top score of 83.23, earning Sweden its first Olympic gold in freestyle skiing. Kingsbury claimed his second Olympic silver, tying Norwegian mogul skier Kari Traa for most career medals in freestyle skiing with three, while Japan's Ikuma Horishima hung on for bronze.
"I've been away for two years, then rehabbing after a knee injury. So it's an amazing feeling," Wallberg said. "This gold has been the goal since I was a child. I've been working so hard for this so it's amazing."
Wallberg, 21, missed 21 months of competition from February 2020 to November 2021 after tearing a ligament in his knee. He reached the podium in three of the last four World Cup events this season.
Kingsbury noted the sport's minuscule room for error and the fact it doesn't provide another chance or another day to try again. He said he knew he had to make no mistakes and, despite the result, was pleased with his skiing.
"It wasn't easy today. It was super cold here; everyone here can feel it," Kingsbury said. "Walter [Wallberg], with the pressure on, put down the best run of the day and props on him … I'm very proud of him, too, to become part of our little group of Olympic champions."
Nineteen-year-old American Nick Page finished an impressive fifth. The Park City, Utah, native notched three top-10 finishes in six moguls World Cup appearances this season, including a season-best fourth-place in Tremblant, Canada, on Jan. 8.
Page had to progress out of the second qualifying round earlier in the night after missing the top 10 in 21st during Thursday's first round. He seized his second chance with a third-place result to advance. Teammate Brad Wilson, who didn't finish in the first round, took 15th and failed to make the finals.
"I’ve worked so hard through the whole off-season and I’ve done all the work to prepare," Page said upon entering the finals field. "Now I get to really show off all that work. It’s not like I have to ski this out-of-mind and out-of-body experience to get here because the stuff that I have when I’m just being myself is pretty good."