Mark McMorris breaks Winter X Games medals record; David Wise wins first title in 5 years

Mark McMorris
Getty
0 Comments

Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris broke his tie with American Jamie Anderson for the most Winter X Games medals across all sites, earning his 22nd medal, a slopestyle gold, in Aspen, Colorado.

On the final run of Sunday’s contest, McMorris overtook Norway’s Marcus Kleveland with back-to-back 1620s on the last two jumps. McMorris’ last three Aspen slopestyle titles were all won on his final run (2019, 2022).

“It’s something I never thought would ever come to me as a kid from Saskatchewan,” McMorris, 29, said on the broadcast. “Everything’s just been a bonus since I became a pro snowboarder.”

In a format introduced three years ago, athletes were ranked on overall impression of their best run over the course of a jam session rather than scoring individual runs.

McMorris won his record-extending seventh X Games Aspen men’s slopestyle title, one day after finishing fourth in big air.

“It just keeps getting crazier because I keep getting older,” he said. “People just keep pushing the limits, pushing the limits. Last night was such a downer, almost bums me out, like, dude, do I still have it? … To have one of those miracle wins where you do it on the last run and someone makes you push yourself, those are the best feelings.”

McMorris won slopestyle bronze medals at each of the last three Olympics. He was asked after Sunday’s win about making a fourth Olympic bid for 2026.

“That’s a lot of water to go under the bridge, but if I keep feeling the way I am, then I’ll definitely be making a run for it,” he said.

Canadian Max Parrot, the 2022 Olympic slopestyle champion, is taking this season off from competition.

Anderson, a two-time Olympic snowboard slopestyle champion, is expecting her first child.

Later Sunday, American David Wise earned his first major ski halfpipe title since repeating as Olympic champion in 2018. Wise landed back-to-back double cork 1260s to end his winning run, according to commentators.

“I wouldn’t still be out here if I didn’t think I had a chance,” Wise, 32 and now a five-time X Games Aspen champ, said on the broadcast. “I’m not going to be the guy who just keeps playing the game until everybody just begs me to stop.”

U.S. Olympian Mac Forehand won men’s ski big air with a 2160 on his last run, according to commentators. It scored a perfect 50. Olympic gold medalist Birk Ruud of Norway followed with a triple cork 2160 of his own, according to commentators, and finished third.

Canadian skier Megan Oldham added slopestyle gold to her big air title from Friday, relegating Olympic champion Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland to silver.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Scotty James wins fifth X Games snowboard halfpipe title

Scotty James
Getty
0 Comments

Scotty James doesn’t have Olympic gold, but he remains king of the X Games halfpipe.

James, the Australian snowboarder who took bronze and silver at the last two Olympics, earned his fifth Aspen gold, repeating as champ of the biggest annual contest under falling snow in the Colorado Rockies. Only the retired Shaun White has more X Games men’s snowboard halfpipe titles with eight.

Nobody on Friday night attempted a triple cork, which was first done in competition by Japan’s Ayumu Hirano last season en route to the Olympic title. Hirano placed sixth Friday.

“It was a tough night, pretty interesting conditions,” James said. “Had to adjust the game plan. The show goes on.”

Lucas Foster, the lone American, was last in the eight-man field.

In a format introduced three years ago, athletes were ranked on overall impression over the course of a three-run jam session for the entire field rather than scoring individual runs.

Earlier, Olympic gold medalist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand repeated as women’s snowboard slopestyle champion, passing Olympic bronze medalist Tess Coady of Australia on the final run of the competition. Sadowski-Synnott, the only snowboarder or skier to win Olympic, world and X Games slopestyle titles, capped her finale with back-to-back 900s.

The competition lacked 2014 and 2018 Olympic champion Jamie Anderson, who announced her pregnancy last month.

Canada’s Megan Oldham landed the first triple cork in women’s ski big air competition history to beat Olympic silver medalist Tess Ledeux of France, according to commentators. Oldham, a 21-year-old ex-gymnast, was fourth at the Olympics.

Eileen Gu, the Olympic champion from China, did not enter big air, then late Friday announced her withdrawal from X Games due to a knee injury.

ON HER TURF: U.S. freeskier Maggie Voisin on grief, loss, finding motivation

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Eileen Gu injures knee in ski crash, withdraws from X Games

Eileen Gu
Getty
0 Comments

Freestyle skier Eileen Gu said she suffered a bad MCL strain, ACL strain and a bone bruise in a heavy training crash on Friday and withdrew from the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

“Had a heavy crash today in training and was told by doctors that they were worried about my ACL,” Gu posted on social media. “Had the most agonizing couple hours waiting to get an MRI until I finally got my results back about 30 mins ago. Turns out my knee is intact!! So so lucky to be walking away with a bad MCL sprain, ACL strain, and bone bruise. The bad news is I won’t be competing at Xgames this weekend. The last few hours really put everything in perspective and made me realize how important it is to keep my body healthy. I’ll be back soon.”

Gu, who won two golds and one bronze as the biggest host nation star at last year’s Olympics, was due to compete in ski halfpipe on Saturday and ski slopestyle on Sunday at the annual X Games.

The 19-year-old made her season debut last weekend with two World Cup ski halfpipe wins in Calgary.

Gu had been expected to compete at next month’s world championships in Georgia (the country, not the state). Her events begin Feb. 26, but she has not announced how the injury affects those plans.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!