Australian Scotty James, the Olympic halfpipe bronze medalist last year in PyeongChang, continued to show his aptitude of amplitude in Aspen at the 2019 X Games.
In his second of three attempts in the SuperPipe, James opened with a switch backside 1080, followed by a backside 1260, a trick he was unable to complete in his first run, falling on reentry. James finished his gold-medal-winning run with a massive frontside double cork 1260 coupled with a stalefish grab.
“I came in tonight and everyone is riding so well and I didn’t expect anything,” James said from the winner’s circle. “To come out with a victory lap at the end is just a dream come true.”
The 2019 gold medal is James’ fourth SuperPipe medal at X Games. He won silver in 2018, gold in 2017 and bronze in 2016.
Japan’s Yuto Totsuka won his first X Games medal in SuperPipe, taking the silver, and the U.S.’ Danny Davis won the bronze. It was Davis’ third-career medal at X Games. He previously won back-to-back SuperPipe gold medals in 2014 and 2015.
Earlier in the day in Aspen the U.S.’ Alex Hall walked away with his first X Games gold medal in men’s ski slopestyle. Hall made his Olympic debut with Team USA at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, but finished well off the podium in South Korea in 16th. Canada’s Alex Beaulieu-Marchand, the 2018 Olympic slopestyle bronze medalist, took home the X Games silver in Aspen behind Hall, while Norway’s Ferdinand Dahl got the X Games bronze.
Today was a good day for the U.S. Freeski team in Font Romeu, France.
Alex Hall picked up his second freeski slopestyle win of his young World Cup career with a second run score of 92.11, besting Philippe Langevin of Canada (90.27) and Andri Ragettli of Switzerland (89.06) for the top prize. Full results are here.
In the women’s event, 15-year-old U.S. rookie Eileen Gu threw down her own jaw-dropping second run to put her on the first World Cup podium of her career. Gu nearly landed in the top spot with a score of 78.03, instead it sandwiched her between a pair of Swiss athletes for second place. Sarah Hoefflin finished in first (78.52) while Giulia Tanno rounded out the podium in third (74.54). Full results are here.
Gus Kenworthy believes that, at age 30, he would be too old to go for a third Olympics in 2022, according to Variety.
“I think I would be too old for it,” the freestyle skier said when asked if will compete at the Beijing Winter Games, according to the magazine. “I was one of the older guys at this Olympics. There’s still a career that exists around skiing that doesn’t necessarily revolve around the Olympics.”
By 2022, Kenworthy will be two years older than any male slopestyle skier from the event’s first two Olympics in Sochi and PyeongChang.
Kenworthy finished 12th in the 12-man final in PyeongChang, four years after taking silver as part of a U.S. podium sweep in Sochi.
He wasn’t 100 percent in South Korea, competing with a broken thumb and after having six vials of blood drained from a hematoma on his hip.
Kenworthy said in post-Olympic interviews that he planned to continue competing in the short term but was unsure of 2022.
“I feel like I’m at a sort of weird crossroads in my life,” Kenworthy told Variety, adding that he’s had camera tests for hosting jobs and auditions that didn’t work out. “I kind of had planned to be done competing at this last Olympics. And then I got hurt in practice. I didn’t ski the way that I wanted to. They say you’re only as good as your last performance. My last performance was not what I had hoped for. It’s made it really hard to walk away. I haven’t been on the snow since then, but as the season is coming up again, I’m starting to think: ‘Am I doing this again?’ I think I am. I’m still going to compete next winter, probably scaled back from what I normally do.”
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