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Chloe Kim wins halfpipe world title, attempts double

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There wasn’t much for Chloe Kim to add to her resume.

But at the World Championships in Park City, Utah, on Friday, the 18-year-old managed yet another milestone, adding a world title to a list of accolades that includes an Olympic gold medal and five X Games titles.

 

 

Kim clinched the title on her first run with a score of 93.50, leading the field by nearly 10 points. She upped the level of difficulty in her third run, attempting a frontside double cork 1080, but did not stay on her feet. China’s Cai Xuetong, the 2017 world champion, finished second, and American Maddie Mastro placed third for her first medal at the World Championships.

Despite her dominance over the rest of the field, Kim tends to focus more on progression than easy victory laps: at the Olympics, she had a gold medal secured with her first run score of 93.75, but put down an even more difficult third run – including back-to-back 1080s – to increase her score to 98.25.

Kim, who said she was “stoked” about her performance, spoke with NBC’s Tina Dixon after the competition about her attempt to land the double. In October, she became the first woman to do it in the halfpipe during training, but has not yet executed it in competition.

“I was really nervous,” she said. “[I] landed my first run super clean…[and] the second run was kind of a setup for the double. I think the next contest hopefully I’ll be able to do it. I’m stoked I tried it and glad I’m walking away in one piece.”

Kim, who dominated the field to win gold in PyeongChang, hasn’t lost a competition in over a year, winning the US Open to end last season and topping the field at the Dew Tour and the X Games earlier this season.

She plans to swap technical tricks for textbooks in the fall as part of the Princeton University Class of 2023.

PyeongChang bronze medalist Scotty James won the world title in men’s halfpipe. The Australian has continued to deliver since the Olympics, where he finished behind Shaun White and Ayumu Hirano: he won a second X Games title last month and defended his 2017 world title in Park City with a technical run that included two 1260s and his signature amplitude.

Japan’s Yuto Totsuka placed second, and Pat Burgener of Switzerland finished third. American Toby Miller, an 18-year-old from Mammoth Lakes, California, finished just off the podium in fourth.

Coverage of the World Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding Championships continues tonight with moguls, live at 9 p.m. on NBCSN.

 

 

Australia’s Scotty James wins men’s SuperPipe at X Games

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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.

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.