Gus Kenworthy just misses first X Games title

Gus Kenworthy

Gus Kenworthy had the best ski halfpipe run of his life Thursday, but it wasn’t enough for his first X Games title.

Kenworthy, the Olympic ski slopestyle silver medalist who came out in October, had the second- and third-best scores of the night on the first two of his three runs at X Games in Aspen, Colo.

But the final skier, France’s Kevin Rolland, overtook Kenworthy with a 93.33-point third run (video). Full results are here.

“So much pressure, but I think I’m used to it,” Rolland, the Olympic bronze medalist and 2010 and 2011 X Games champion, said on ESPN. “I’m just shocked right now.”

Earlier, Kenworthy scored 91.33 points in the first of three runs and 92.33 in his second (video).

“Got a big weight off my shoulders, and oh my god I’m emotional,” Kenworthy said on ESPN after his second run. “That was honestly the best run I’ve ever done.”

It nearly held up against a field that included Olympic champion and three-time X Games champion David Wise, who was competing after separating his collarbone in a crash last week. Wise placed eighth, the worst X Games finish of his career.

Kenworthy, 24, came into Aspen with one previous X Games medal, a ski slopestyle bronze at Winter X Games Europe in Tignes, France in 2013.

His best previous X Games halfpipe finish was fifth in 2015. He missed making the Sochi Olympic team in ski halfpipe, after he had already clinched a ski slopestyle spot.

Kenworthy is also slated for the ski slopestyle event in Aspen on Sunday. He is the two-time reigning Dew Tour Mountain Championships ski slopestyle champion.

MORE: Shaun White to miss X Games Aspen, signs up for another event

Saudi Arabia to host 2029 Asian Winter Games

Olympic Council of Asia

Saudi Arabia will host the Asian Winter Games in 2029 in mountains near the $500 billion futuristic city project Neom.

The Olympic Council of Asia on Tuesday picked the Saudi candidacy that centers on Trojena that is planned to be a year-round ski resort by 2026.

“The deserts & mountains of Saudi Arabia will soon be a playground for Winter sports!” the OCA said in a statement announcing its decision.

Saudi sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said the kingdom’s winter sports project “challenges perception” in a presentation of the plan to OCA members.

“Trojena is the future of mountain living,” the minister said of a region described as an area of about 60 square kilometers at altitude ranging from 1,500 to 2,600 meters.

The Neom megaproject is being fund by the Saudi sovereign wealth vehicle, the Public Investment Fund.

Saudi Arabia also will host the Asian Games in 2034 in Riyadh as part of aggressive moves to build a sports hosting portfolio and help diversify the economy from reliance on oil.

A campaign to host soccer’s 2030 World Cup is expected with an unprecedented three-continent bid including Egypt and Greece.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Jim Redmond, who helped son Derek finish 1992 Olympic race, dies


Jim Redmond, who helped his injured son, Derek, finish his 1992 Olympic 400m semifinal, died at age 81 on Sunday, according to the British Olympic Association, citing family members.

At the 1992 Barcelona Games, Derek pulled his right hamstring 15 seconds into his 400m semifinal, falling to the track in anguish.

He brushed off help from officials, got up and began limping around the track. About 120 meters from the finish line, he felt the presence of an uncredentialed man who rushed down the stadium stairs, dodged officials and said, “We started this together, and we’re going to finish this together,” according to

“As I turned into the home straight, I could sense this person was about to try and stop me,” Derek said in an NBC Olympics profile interview before the 2012 London Games. “I was just about to get ready to sort of fend them off, and then I heard a familiar voice of my dad. He said, ‘Derek, it’s me. You don’t need to do this.'”

Derek said he shouted to his dad that he wanted to finish the race.

“He was sort of saying things like, ‘You’ve got nothing to prove. You’re a champion. You’ll come back. You’re one of the best guys in the world. You’re a true champion. You’ve got heart. You’re going to get over this. We’ll conquer the world together,'” Derek remembered. “I’m just sort of saying, ‘I can’t believe this is happening.'”

At one point, Derek noticed stadium security, not knowing who Jim was, having removed guns from their holsters.

“It’s the only time I’ve ever heard my dad use bad language,” Derek said. “He just goes, ‘Leave him alone, I’m his father.'”

Derek told himself in that moment, “I’m going to finish this race if it’s the last race I ever run.” It turned out to be the last 400m race of his career, after surgery and 18 months of rehab were not enough to yield a competitive comeback, according to Sports Illustrated.

Derek had missed the 1988 Seoul Games after tearing an Achilles, reportedly while warming up for his opening race. He looked strong in Barcelona, winning his first-round heat and quarterfinal.

“I’d rather be seen to be coming last in the semifinal than not finish in the semifinal,” he said, “because at least I can say I gave it my best.”