Queralt Castellet

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Chloe Kim gets fifth X Games SuperPipe gold

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In her first run in the X Games SuperPipe in Aspen, 18-year-old Chloe Kim fell, sitting down on the wall on her final hit. What the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic halfpipe gold medalist did next was equal to the mettle seen in champions well beyond her years.

While stuck in last place, Kim dropped in for her second attempt, opening with a frontside 1080, followed by a cab 720, into a frontside 540 and topping it all off with a McTwist. For Kim, and the incredible amplitude she is best known for, the run was uncharacteristically textbook. Therein lies the maturity shown by Kim. When she was down, she did what she needed to do to get win, despite wanting to leave the crowd breathless.

“I honestly wanted to do a complete[ly] different run,” Kim said after receiving her fifth X Games SuperPipe gold. “I was so bummed I wasn’t able to do it, so you know, [I’m] looking forward to the next one and super excited to do some cool stuff for you guys.”

Kim is now the first X Games athlete to win five gold medals by age 18.

Kim’s second run received 84.00 points from the judges, and in a best-of-three run event, hers was tops. Behind Kim taking silver and bronze where Spain’s Queralt Castellet and China’s Cai Xuetong.

The feel good story on Saturday came in men’s snowboard slopestyle, when Canada’s Mark McMorris needed to pull off some late-day magic to win gold. The two-time Olympic bronze medalist went big and pulled off a flawless third run for the win.

“This is dream-come-true type [expletive],” a surprised McMorris said while clutching his gold medal.

McMorris also won snowboard Big Air silver on Friday night in Aspen.

McMorris was severely injured in a 2017 backcountry snowboarding accident when he collided with a tree. His recovery and return to competition, which included a bronze medal win at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, seem to have exceeded even his own expectations.

Chloe Kim gets World Cup halfpipe win ahead of X Games

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Possibly foreshadowing what lies ahead next week at the X Games in Aspen, the U.S.’ reigning Olympic halfpipe champion, Chloe Kim returned to World Cup competition today to take home the top prize in Switzerland.

Competing in a two-run halfpipe event, Kim led the field after her first run with a score of 89.00 points. No one was able to unseat Kim from her perch with their second run, so Kim did it herself. Landing back-to-back 1080s, Kim bested her first run, receiving 93.75 points from the judges for her second-run effort.

Spain’s Queralt Castellet finished in second, scoring 80.50 points in her first run, while the U.S.’ Arielle Gold finished third overall with a first-run score of 77.25 points. Full results are here.

Next week Kim will attempt to win her fourth X Games Aspen Superpipe title in five years, which would put her in a tie for second all-time in the X Games record books, just behind her 2018 Olympic teammate, and six-time X Games halfpipe champ, Kelly Clark.  

Kim was coming off a nine-month break from competition before winning the opening World Cup halfpipe event this season at Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado back in December. The following weekend, Kim threw down an event-winning first run in the Dew Tour’s Modified Superpipe event.

Australian Olympic bronze medalist Scotty James won the men’s event Saturday, also with his first attempt in the halfpipe, landing an opening switch backside 1080 for a 95.75-point run. Japan’s Yuto Tatsuka was second with 92.00 points and the U.S.’ Jake Pates held on for third with a score of 85.50. It’s Pates’ first time on a World Cup podium. Full results are here.

Chase Josey, also riding for the U.S., was unable to put a run together in Laax, skidding out in each of his two runs.

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