Getty Images

Jamie Anderson wins X Games (14th medal) over depleted field

Leave a comment

Jamie Anderson won her first X Games snowboard slopestyle title in five years — her 14th medal in the event overall — against a field missing a few Olympic medal contenders.

Anderson, the Sochi Olympic champ, tallied 94 points in her second of three runs for her fifth X Games slopestyle title.

Anderson, who scraped her nose in a first-run crash, matched halfpipe rider Kelly Clark for the most X Games medals won by a woman.

“Ended up smashing my face,” Anderson said on ESPN3. “When I went back up there [for my second run], I was pretty shooken up, but I just tried to take a couple of deep breaths and get back into my focus mode.”

PyeongChang Olympic teammate Julia Marino, the 2017 X Games winner, took second with 92 points. Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi was third. Full results are here.

Just five women competed in the Aspen, Colo., final.

U.S. Olympian Hailey Langland did not start due to heel contusions, according to ESPN. Langland is an Olympic medal contender in big air and slopestyle, taking 2017 X Games gold in the former and 2016 X Games bronze in the latter.

Austrian Anna Gasser, the 2017 U.S. Open champ, and Norwegian Silje Norendal, the 2014 and 2015 X Games winner, also didn’t start.

Canadian Spencer O’Brien, the 2016 X Games champ, pulled out before the event and was replaced by an alternate.

The X Games continue through the weekend, highlighted by the women’s and men’s snowboard halfpipe finals on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: U.S. Olympic team largest of any nation in Winter Games history

Ski jumping World Cup season kicks off in Poland

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The World Cup ski jump season opens Friday with men’s team and individual events in Wisla, Poland.

The host country had three of the top five jumpers in the overall standings last year. Defending champion Kamil Stoch placed third, Piotr Zyla was close behind in fourth, and Dawid Kubacki was fifth.

Japan’s Ryoyu Kobayashi dominated last year’s competition, finishing with 2,085 points to 1,349 for runner-up Stefan Kraft of Austria, the 2017 World Cup champion.

Kobayashi’s performance was a dramatic improvement over his previous season, when he finished no higher than sixth in any individual competition and was 24th overall. Last year, he had 15 wins and 23 podium finishes in 30 World Cup events, though he only managed fourth and 14th in the two world championship events.

The top American last season, Kevin Bickner, finished 51st overall, a drop from 39th the year before. He was 18th and 20th in the 2018 Olympic jumps.

Women’s World Cup action begins Dec. 6-8 in Lillehammer, Norway.

NBC Sports Gold will broadcast World Cup action throughout the season. This weekend, the qualifying jumps will air at noon ET Friday, the team event starts at 11:30 a.m. ET Saturday, and the individual competition is at 6 a.m. Sunday.

MORE: Full ski jumping broadcast schedule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

 

 

 

 

Snowboarding pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

Getty Images
1 Comment

Jake Burton Carpenter, the pioneer who brought snowboarding to the masses and helped turn the sport into a billion-dollar business and Olympic showpiece, has died at 65.

He died Wednesday night in Burlington, Vermont, according to an email sent to the staff of the company he founded. Carpenter had emailed his staff this month saying, “You will not believe this, but my cancer has come back.” He had been diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011 but after several months of therapy had been given a clean bill of health.

Carpenter quit his job in New York in 1977 to form the company now known simply as Burton. His goal was to advance the rudimentary snowboard, then called a “Snurfer,” which had been invented by Sherman Poppen a dozen years earlier.

It worked, and more than four decades later, snowboarding is a major fixture at the Winter Games and snowboards are as common as skis at resorts across the globe.

“He was our founder, the soul of snowboarding, the one who gave us the sport we all love so much,” Burton co-CEO John Lacy said in his email to the staff.

It is virtually impossible to avoid the name “Burton” once the snow starts falling at any given mountain around the world these days. The name is plastered on the bottoms of snowboards, embroidered on jackets, stenciled into bindings.

At a bar in Pyeongchang, South Korea, not far from where snowboarding celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Olympics last year, there was a wall filled with Burton pictures and memorabilia — as sure a sign as any of the global reach of a company founded in his garage in Londonderry, Vermont.

The company sponsored pretty much every top rider at one time or another — from Shaun White to Kelly Clark to Chloe Kim.

Carpenter watched all his champions win their Olympic golds from near the finish line, never afraid to grind away in the mosh pit of snowboarders and snowboarding fans that he helped create.

In an interview in 2010, he said he was happy with how far his sport had come, and comfortable with where it was going.

“I had a vision there was a sport there, that it was more than just a sledding thing, which is all it was then,” Burton said. “We’re doing something that’s going to last here. It’s not like just hitting the lottery one day.”

Lacy said details about the celebration of Burton’s life would be coming soon but, for now, “I’d encourage everyone to do what Jake would be doing tomorrow, and that’s riding. It’s opening day at Stowe, so consider taking some turns together, in celebration of Jake.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!