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.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Olympic Committee said Saturday that eight of the country’s athletes have registered positive in doping retests for the 2012 London Games.
The brief statement from the ROC did not give names or what disciplines the athletes were in, but said they came from three different sports.
It said further information would not be released until so-called “B samples” were tested that would confirm or contradict the retests. The International Olympic Committee stores Olympic doping samples for 10 years to reanalyze them when newer methods become available.
The announcement came amid heightened attention to the doping of Russian athletes.
The international track and field federation suspended Russia’s team from global competition, including the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August, after a World Anti-Doping Agency commission report detailed state-sponsored doping. The IAAF is set to decide on June 17 whether to maintain or lift its suspension.
Earlier this week, Russian state television reported that 10 medalists from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, including 2012 high jump champion Anna Chicherova, were among 14 Russians that tested positive in the reanalysis of their doping samples.
The IOC said Friday that 23 athletes from five sports and six countries had positive findings in retests with improved techniques on 265 samples from the London Games. The IOC did not identify the athletes, their sports or their nationalities. The current retesting program targeted athletes who could be eligible to compete in Rio.
The World Anti-Doping Agency announced this month that it has appointed an independent overseer for an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping in the Russian team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
In an interview published in the New York Times, Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Russian lab now living in Los Angeles, said that he switched tainted urine samples for clean ones at the doping lab used for the Sochi Games, with help from people he believed to be officers of the Russian security services.
U.S. Olympic track and field hopefuls compete in the biggest meet before the Olympic Trials at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday, live on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
The premier annual international meet in the U.S., hosted at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, takes place five weeks before the U.S. Olympic Trials at the same venue.
The Pre Classic fields on Saturday include U.S. Olympic champions Justin Gatlin (100m), Dawn Harper-Nelson (100m hurdles), Aries Merritt (110m hurdles), LaShawn Merritt (400m) and Sanya Richards-Ross (400m).
International stars such as two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica and Olympic 400m champion Kirani James of Grenada also dot the entry lists.