Mastro makes snowboarding history, upsets Kim at Burton US Open in Vail
VAIL — California snowboarder Maddie Mastro accomplished something once thought impossible to win the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships on Saturday.
She also landed the first ever double crippler 900 in competition.
The impossible part of the accomplishment, going into the Burton U.S. Open, was defeating Chloe Kim, who had won every contest she entered this season leading up to the U.S. Open, along with most of the events last year, as well. The last time Kim finished second was on Jan. 13, 2018, at a Grand Prix event in Snowmass. All it took to defeat Kim on Saturday was a never-been-done trick.
Men started performing double crippler 900s in the halfpipe about 10 years ago, and the trick went on to become a staple in many of the top men’s runs at events like the Burton U.S. Open for the next decade. In 2014, Ben Ferguson was awarded best trick at the Burton U.S. Open for his double crippler in the halfpipe. In the trick, the snowboarder travels up the halfpipe wall, turns 90 degrees, performs two backflips, turns another 90 degrees and lands on the wall in the same stance.
Mastro landed the trick a number of times in practice but had not attempted it in a contest before Saturday.
“It’s pretty incredible for me to be able to do it at such an amazing event like the U.S. Open,” Mastro said. “It’s such a snowboarder- and rider-based event, and I don’t think I would want to try it or land it at any contest but this. I couldn’t be more happy to land it here.”
WOMEN DOING DOUBLES
In 2013, Elena Hight landed a twice-inverted trick at X Games, a double rodeo, which is spun on a different axis than the double crippler.
The women’s chase for the double cork then went on hiatus for a few years, only to be resurrected following the 2018 Olympics, when both Mastro and Kim started landing double inverts in practice. Kim incorporated a little more technicality into the trick, spinning on a different axis, adding an extra 180 and landing switch in her frontside doublecork 1080.
Kim came into Saturday’s competition undefeated, but also in a lot of pain. She told interviewer Louie Vito that the only time her ankle didn’t hurt was when she was riding.
“Maybe just keep riding then,” Vito replied.
Kim didn’t attempt her double cork, instead landing a difficult run that contained a rarely seen switch backside 540. She finished in second by .12, a very slim margin in a 100-point halfpipe competition, and immediately sought medical following the event and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Third-place finisher Xuetong Cai, of China, said there was an excitement about Saturday’s halfpipe competition from the very start.
“I think when the competition started I felt more energy from everybody,” she said.
Breckenridge snowboarder Arielle Gold finished in fourth, followed by Japanese athletes Sena Tomita and Haruna Matsumoto.