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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Winter X-Games | Day 2 Highlights and Recap

By Andrew Sachs
Day 1 Highlights and Recap

Day 2 Highlights and Recap

Snowboard Big Air

Friday's most anticipated action was the men's snowboard big air final, which turned into a battle to see who could pull off the best triple cork.  With time running out in the 18 minute final, Torstein Horgmo nailed a switch backside triple cork 1440 for a perfect score that nabbed him gold.

For most of the final, Horgmo didn't look likely to be standing at the top of the podium.  Mark McMorris, gold medalist from last year, and Stale Sandbech were landing the most impressive tricks.  That was, until Horgmo landed his huge trick, the switch backside triple cork 1440.  No one had ever landed this trick in competition, and it paid off for Horgmo.

Still, McMorris fought back, and nearly matched Horgmo's perfect score.  McMorris boosted a cab triple underflip 1440, a trick he had never tried before, that earned him a 48.  Close, but not quite perfect like Horgmo's trick.  McMorris settled for the silver and Sandbech for the bronze.

Men's Ski Slopestyle Elimination

Only 8 of 16 riders could advance on Friday in the men's ski slopestyle, and James Woods, from Britain stepped up when needed to make sure he was one of them.  Woods followed up a crash on his first run with a second run of 92.66 that earned him the highest score of the elimination round.  Woods blamed himself for his crash on the first run but knew that he could "throw down a good run."  And he did.

Defending champ Tom Wallisch wasn't so lucky.  Wallisch also crashed on his first run and couldn't quite put it all together to advance.  His second run scored 80.66, good for 9th place, on the outside looking in at the 8 skiers who advanced.  It was a close call for the judges, who determined that Wallisch's second run was more difficult than that of 8th place finisher Alex Schlopy, but a slight hand drag on one of the jumps cost him  the spot in the finals.  The judges voted 3-2 that Schlopy's run deserved a higher score than Wallisch's; sometimes that's the difference between moving on and going home.

Snowboard Street

French-Canadian snowboarder Louif Paradis continued his string of impressive performances this Winter X-Games by taking home gold in the snowboard street, to add to his collection that also includes gold in real snow from Thursday.

Paradis survived two fifteen minute jam session heats that narrowed the field down from 10 riders to 6, then stepped up his aerial attack in the finals to clinch the gold.  He landed a huge front boardslide to back lipslide that the judges awarded 42, the highest score of the final.  Combined with his other run, Louif scored 75 points and bested second-place finisher Dylan Alito, of Colorado, who scored 62 points.

The final was wide open after defending gold medalist Forest Bailey failed to move on from the prelims, and Louif took advantage.