Norway's Kari Traa might have given up chocolate and butter, but now she has an Olympic gold medal instead.

Traa, who's won five of six World Cup competitions this season, continued to dominate women's moguls by edging American Shannon Bahrke for a gold medal at Deer Valley Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 13,000 spectators. Bahrke became the first to win a medal for the United States in the 2002 Winter Games.

Japan's Tae Satoya earned the bronze medal by beating Canada's Jennifer Heil by 1/100th of a point. Satoya won the gold medal in 1998, the same year Traa took home the bronze.

"It wasn't a great run," Traa said of her gold medal effort. "I watched it on the tape . . . It was OK."

The most dominant female moguls skier in the world gave up tasty but fatty substances in the fall of 1999 and almost immediately lost 20 pounds. She gained height in her jumps and speed on her turns, which rocketed her to the forefront of women's moguls.

"So, it helped," she said with a grin and a shrug. "I decided in the fall of 1999 just to stop until Christmas (after gorging herself on a training camp road trip) . . . My coach said he saw a big difference in my air, and in the quickness of my turns."

Traa was congratulated by the crown prince of Norway after her win on the first day of competition in the 2002 Winter Games.

"He came into the finish area and said it was awesome," she explained. "He gave me a hug. It was fun that he came to watch me."

And while Traa was the gold medal favorite, her preparation for her second Olympic competition didn't go as planned. She severely bruised her knee in June and was unable to practice her jumping until October.

Still, she said the weighty expectations of her nation only motivated her.

"I normally ski better under pressure," she said. "I love that feeling at the top . . . people expecting things from me."

One person who wasn't expected to be on the podium Saturday was Bahrke. She wasn't even finishing in the top 10 until she won the Gold Cup (U.S. skiers only) Dec. 31 at Deer Valley. She had some trouble with her training runs Saturday and went into the finals in fifth position. Her teammates, Hannah Hardaway and Anne Battelle went in second and third but finished fifth and seventh, respectively.

For head freestyle coach Jeff Wintersteen, having one of his athletes win the first medal for the U.S. in the 2002 Games was bittersweet.

"(Bahrke) winning was really cool," he said. "All the winter sports coaches from the other teams were bugging us, telling us we had to get things started (for the U.S.). But I'm also a little disappointed because I thought we were in an excellent position to get two."

As for Bahrke she wasn't at all disappointed that her medal was silver instead of gold.

"It adds a little something extra special after Sept. 11th (terrorist attacks)," she said choking with emotion. "I know me winning a medal makes a lot of other Americans proud. I'm just really happy."

She said standing at the bottom she hoped only that Traa would ski as flawless as she usually does.

"Kari is an amazing skier," said the 22-year-old native of California. "She's the best in the world. She's proven that time and time and time and time again. It makes me happy to be on the podium with her."

And while Traa is planning a party to celebrate her Olympic win, she said she's not going to retire for at least a year.

"I know I can get better," the 28-year-old said. "There are about 8-10 of us girls pushing the level higher and higher . . . We're more aggressive and better skiers."