Teen McMorris wins second gold of games
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – Eighteen-year-old Canadian Mark McMorris already won a Winter X gold medal Friday night in the snowboard big air competition after landing a backside triple-cork 1440.
All he wanted to do Saturday was “have some more fun.”
In what some called the most talented men’s snowboard slopestyle field ever assembled, McMorris was the lone competitor to score more than 90, claiming his second gold medal in as many nights with a 93.
“I can’t really explain how I feel. It hasn’t really set in yet,” McMorris said. “It was such a good feeling to know you rode your best last night, and that’s all I come out to contests to do: have fun and try to land a run I plan in my head.”
Sage Kotsenburg from Park City, Utah, took silver with a third-run 88. Peetu Piiroinen of Finland finished third with an 86.
McMorris’ gold-medal run came on his second trip down the course. It all started up top in the rail section with a frontside 180 to a Cab 270 into the wall feature. Then, he hit a Cab double-corked 900, a frontside double-corked 1080, a double wildcat and a backside 1260 off the 70-foot “Money Booter.”
He held on for the win as defending gold medalist and countryman Sebastian Toutant finished with an 83.66 off of his first run – his only clean run of the night.
“We had 16 of the best snowboarders, and eight moved on to the finals,” McMorris said. “Sage put down a run that could on any other day win. Peetu did, too. I was just lucky enough to do something a little different.”
Kotsenburg struggled throughout the night until his final run, securing his first Winter X slopestyle medal. After scores of 30 and 37.66, he cleanly negotiated the rail section, then landed a switch backside 1080, Cab 1260, frontside 1080 and a backside 1260.
“I was really bad on my first two runs,” Kotsenburg said. “So I guess I’m good under pressure, which kind of helps sometimes because you can get some adrenaline going.”
For Piiroinen, the bronze is also his first slopestyle medal here.
“I was relatively surprised that I got third place,” Piiroinen said. “I can say that this was the hardest slopestyle course that I’ve ever rode.”
Piiroinen was the elder statesman of the medalists at 23. Kotsenburg, like McMorris, is just 18. McMorris, who won silver in this event last year, said he is excited about the future.
“I’m not sure yet,” McMorris said. “I just want to keep having fun, stay safe, keep riding with my friends and enjoying every second of it.”
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