Day three of X Games Aspen 2016 competition concluded with a crowd of 49,300 who arrived at Buttermilk Mountain to witness the Mono Skier X, Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle, Coors Light Skier X, Intel Men’s Snowboard SuperPipe and GoPro Ski Big Air finals.
The first final of the day kicked off with Mono Skier X where adaptive athletes put down one of the closest finishes in the history of X Games winter event.
After competing neck-and-neck down the course, it was France’s Jerome Elbrycht who picked up the victory. Nikko Landeros sped into second place as Kevin Bramble took third.
“This is my first time in the USA, my first times at X Games and my first gold medal! So incredible, just to get to the final and to finish first in a final is incredible!” Jerome Elbrycht said.
Throwing a shifty over the last jump, this was not only Elbrycht’s first X Games gold but his first X Games appearance ever.
Defending double gold winner from X Games Aspen 2015, Mark McMorris took the victory again at the Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle event.
“It’s great to see such incredible rail features on the course because on the jumps we might be starting to reach a physical limit,” McMorris shares after taking home the gold medal.
Battling changing snow conditions, on his second run McMorris landed a technical cab 270 hard way to fakie on the final rail before unloading a pair of triple cork 1440’s on the last two jumps, the first frontside with a melon grab, followed by a smooth backside spin.
Awarded a 92.66, it was enough to top Canadian rider Sebastien Toutant’s first run score of 90.33. Mons Røisland slid into third on his final attempt.
“It was nerve wracking to podium on my last run. My switch backside 1640 somehow worked out for me and those jumps were so perfect,” Mons said after receiving his medal.
This makes 10 total X Games medals for the 22-year-old McMorris including six golds.
With a shift in weather during the Coors Light Women’s Skier X final, two-time X Games medalist Kelsey Serwa chose a different line out of the gate, one that ultimately added a gold to her collection with a time of 51.42 seconds.
Following a close second was fellow Canadian Marielle Thompson who edged out third place finisher Alizee Baron.
The Coors Light Men’s Skier X followed and it was Canadian Brady Leman who battled through a tight start to muscle his way into the hole shot.
Leman held on to the lead clocking a time of 48.57 seconds, enough to top Bastien Midol who landed in second trailed closely by Chris Del Bosco who narrowly edged into third.
When asked about his win, Brady Leman said the following, “I was just on fire out of the start and able to ski strong throughout the entire race. It’s totally unreal. It’s the biggest event of the year and the one I was focused on all season.”
For Leman, this was his first gold, adding to a bronze medal earned in 2010.
As one of the most popular competitions of X Games Aspen, the Intel Men’s SuperPipe competition was cut to a single-run final due to heavy snowfall.
Riders were still able to finish one complete run with Colorado local Matt Ladley putting down the best run of the evening scoring an 82.33 with a backside double cork 1080 and frontside double cork 1080 to finish his run.
On winning the gold medal in such tough conditions, local Matt Ladley said the following, “You dream about winning X Games but not usually this way. I knew there was snow coming in so I really tried to put a good first run down.”
Twenty-one-year-old Ben Ferguson finished in second while alternate Scotty James landed third. Making the finals in his last three appearances, this was Ladley’s first medal at the X Games.
The GoPro Ski Big Air continued with rookie Fabian Boesch narrowly out-performing veteran Bobby Brown with a score of 86.00.
“This is X Games! No matter the weather, the intensity is always high!” Bobby Brown said after the competition completed.
Brown’s 85.00 placed him second ahead of Eilas Ambül who finished third. Due in part to his consistency and a flawlessly landed triple cork 1440, this was the 18-year-old Boesch’s first ever X Games medal.
With the action over on the slopes, deadmau5 kept the party going late into the night at the Sound Factory main stage at Buttermilk Mountain.
Saturday’s competitions continue with finals in the Men’s Ski Slopestyle, Men’s and Women’s Snowboarder X, Snowboarder X Adaptive and The Real Cost Snowboard Women’s SuperPipe followed by a musical performance by Kygo to close out X Games Aspen 2016.