With a foot of fresh snow at Buttermilk Mountain, it was an action-packed final day at X Games Aspen as 15,200 spectators watched the world’s best winter sports athletes compete in the disciplines of Men’s Ski Slopestyle, Snowboarder X and The Real Cost Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe.
Snowboarder X Adaptive got an early start with riders gunning for gold. After narrowly escaping a collision early on, Finland’s Matti Suur-Hamari claimed the lead relentlessly pursuing a winning time of 1:04.80 seconds.
“Competing in the X Games is a really big thing for me. Since I was a kid I’ve wanted this so to be a winner here is pretty amazing!” Matti Surr-Hamari says.
Less than a second off, Canada’s Alex Massie took second followed by Ben Tudhope in third. For Suur-Hamari, this was his first ever X Games medal.
After 11 previous X Games appearances, Jossi Wells earned his first gold medal ahead of a stacked field in Men’s Ski Slopestyle. In a run that included a switch right side 1080 followed by a switch double cork 1440, Wells became the first athlete from New Zealand to medal in an X Games winter event.
“To get a gold after 11 years is amazing. It’s been elusive and to have finally done it with my mom in the crowd was amazing. I’m frothing out man — stoked!” Jossi Wells says.
Gus Kenworthy, who took silver in Men’s SuperPipe on Thursday, earned the same hardware today as he took second over Øystein Bråten from Norway.
As the women took to the Snowboarder X course, it was none other than the queen of Snowboarder X Lindsey Jacobellis who added a 10th gold medal to her collection. In an exciting comeback from behind, Jacobellis managed to overtake her competitors with strategic moves around the final corner that resulted in a victory by less than a fraction of a second.
“Honestly in my later years of racing right now it is more of a mental game and strategizing my runs more carefully is very important,” Lindsey Jacobellis explains. “I really analyze the course and have a few different options going in because these days I’m not always getting the whole shot.”
Eva Samkova secured second with two-time Olympian Nelly Moenne Loccoz of France placing third.
Requiring a photo finish, the Men’s Snowboarder X competition saw a talented field of athletes race down the bumps and berms of the course as Australian Jarryd Hughes slid into first using his edge control to out maneuver fellow countryman Alex Pullin who settled for second. Konstantin Schad finished close behind in third. With a winning time of 54.11, this is the 20-year-old Hughes’ first X Games gold.
Closing out X Games Aspen 2016 was The Real Cost Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe, a sport discipline that has seen accelerated progression in recent years, largely attributed to 15-year-old phenom Chloe Kim. Today, Kim won her second X Games gold in a row with a 95.00 gold medal run that included an impressive method before launching into the afternoon’s most memorably executed trick, a front side 1080 tail grab.
“It was crazy,” Chloe Kim says. I didn’t think I’d be doing the run I wanted because of all the snow but when we showed up the pipe was still so good! For some reason. I was able to go bigger than this kind of weather usually permits.”
Colorado native Arielle Gold collected silver with Xuetong Cai taking bronze, making her the first ever Chinese athlete to podium at the X Games, winter or summer. With Kim’s technical skill set, amplitude and style, many consider her to be the future of women’s SuperPipe snowboarding.
With four days of diverse weather, 102,600 spectators witnessed world-class competition, style and technical progression and internationally acclaimed musical acts at the premiere action sports and youth lifestyle festival.