X games snowboarding

The Men’s Big Air at the X Games ended in spectacular style

It’s a first, and what a way to end the Winter X Games at Aspen, Colorado, Torstein Horgmo pulled off the first perfect triple  ever in competition.

Born in 1987, Torstein is a Norwegian pro-snowboarder. He is known for executing very technical jump tricks with great style. His run-up to these Winter X Games is impressive.

  • At the 2009 Winter X-Games XIII, Horgmo was defeated in Big Air by friend and teammate Travis Rice although it is felt that this was not a fair judgement – Torstein landed his switch backside 1260 superclean, and Travis had to revert both his landings (turning another 180 degrees after landing, because he couldn’t stop the rotation).
  • At Dew Tour winter 09/10 he took two impressive 1st places over Shaun White in slopestyle, stating his place as one of the best jumpers in the sport.
  • He won a gold medal in Snowboard Big Air at the 2010 Winter X Games XII in Aspen, Colorado, after first beating Travis Rice in the semifinals, and then Kevin Pearce in the final.

And in the Big Air Final on January 28, 2011, he landed the first Triple cork ever done in a competition, winning gold medal over Sebastien Toutant. A broken rib didn’t hamper his style at all.

Torstein Horgmo at the men's Big Air Winter X Games, Aspen, Colorado

Torstein Horgmo - Mark Kohlman/ESPN Action Sports

The triple cork has been a much anticipated trick, but to date no skier or snowboarder had successfully pulled it off at competition level. However, with the wealth of talent at this year’s X Games, talent such as Bobby Brown or Sammy Carlson – both freeskiers, it was only a matter of time before someone landed the perfect triple. Early last Spring Brown broke ground on a triple flatspin 1080 and a triple flatspin 1260 on a film shoot in Alaska. In the summer, Carlson took the triple game a step further when he stomped the first switch triple rodeo in Mt. Hood, Oregon.

Leading up to this Winter X, the official answer on triples has been “probably not.” Brown and Carlson both did their new triple flips on massive jumps (over 100 feet) that were built specifically for their new trick attempts. At 75 feet from lip to knuckle, the Winter X big air jump is no local hill park kicker, but it’s still small enough that the official stance of most athletes in the contest aligned with Brown’s earlier statement that, “I do not think that triples are going to come into play,” although, he continued, “There might be a few people that are crazy enough to try.”

And so it happened. It also happened that it was a snowboarder who stole the show. Torstein Horgmo completed the first perfect Triple Cork in competition to win the Winter X Games Snowboard Big Air on Friday night.

It was rumoured that skier Sammy Carlson was going to go for the triple flip, but he couldn’t quite set-up the perfect conditons needed for the attempt. “Bobby and I have both stomped triples before, but they were on much bigger jumps,” said Carlson. “I was warming up for it, but I kept slipping on the takeoff. It was icy out, so I couldn’t get a solid set.”

At the end of the Winter X men’s ski Big Air Saturday night it was Alex Schlopy who walked away with gold. Schlopy earned a score of 92 with a switch double cork 14 and a double cork 16, a trick he’d never done before the contest. “Once you get up top, you’re just hanging there and stuff kind of just happens,” he said. “I saw a couple people try that 16 and I just had to try it, too. And it worked out.”

Despite injury, Bobby Brown took the silver and Sammy Carlson the bronze.

Canadian, Kaya Turski earned her second straight women’s Winter X Slopestyle gold medal on Thursday, beating Keri Herman who took second place and Grete Eliassen, third, an identical podium to the 2010 Winter X women’s Slopestyle. This was Turski’s first contest since having knee surgery last April after tearing her ACL on the final jump at the Winter X Europe Slopestyle, which she also won. “I’m obviously ecstatic and really relieved,” Turski said after her win. “I put a lot of pressure on myself coming into this event. The girls definitely put on a good show and gave me a run for my money and I’m just happy I pulled through.”

Kaya was the only lady to switch up the joystick rail.  She put together an impressive jump line that included a 360, 540 and switch 720. Her first run was her best and she held on throughout two more runs of 10 women for the win.

Congratulations to all.

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