A Canadian has claimed the gold medal in men’s snowboard big air, but not the one most people expected.
Sebastien Toutant won the first-ever Olympic title for men’s big air, while compatriots Max Parrot and Mark McMorris — the pre-event favorites — both had multiple falls that took them out of medal contention.
U.S. snowboarder Kyle Mack used stylish and creative grabs on his tricks to end up with a silver medal, and Billy Morgan took bronze to help Great Britain achieve its best Winter Olympic medal haul ever.
In the final, each of the 12 riders had three attempts at a trick. Each rider’s top two scores were then added together to get their total score, with the caveat that the two scores had to come from different tricks.
Toutant got off to a good start by land a cab triple cork 1620 on his first run. Then he moved on to a backside 1620 on his second run. The backside 1620 ended up being the highest-scoring trick of the day and, when combined with his first-run score, moved him into the lead.
Two riders who had the tricks to potentially knock Toutant out of that top spot were his teammates Parrot and McMorris, who have combined to win the last five X Games big air competitions.
McMorris started off with his switch backside triple cork 1620 but was unable to land it on either of his first two runs. Without a good score on the board after two runs, McMorris was already of medal contention, so he just floated a method over the jump on his third.
Gold: Sebastien Toutant (CAN), 174.25
Silver: Kyle Mack (USA), 168.75
Bronze: Billy Morgan (GBR), 168.00