Gold medalist Shaun White, the king of the superpipe, was unable to transfer those talents to the slopestyle event Saturday, finishing fifth as defending champ Mark McMorris of Canada took gold, again.
“I proved myself the way I wanted to and I’m just a happy camper,” McMorris said after his historic run. “I landed a run I don’t think I’ve ever done, really.”
McMorris led from the start, earning a 94.66 in his first run and then upping his score to 98.00 on what was effectively a victory lap after he had already secured gold. He capped the best slopestyle performance in X Games history by landing the difficult triple cork, as the other seven competitors failed to do the same, or weren’t willing to try.
White, who landed a triple in practice Wednesday, finished with just 71.00 points on his first run and was unable to improve his score, earning 20.00 points, and then only 14.00 in his other two attempts.
In fact, McMorris was the only top-five rider to increase his score after his first time down the hill, as silver medalist Max Parrot earned a 90.00 and Seppe Smits chalked up an 85.00 to make the podium, but fell on their second and third tries when they were forced to attempt difficult tricks in order to play catch-up.
Snowboarding slopestyle makes its Olympic debut in Sochi next February.