AVSC snowboarder wins World Cup event
When Chris Corning, 15, won a World Cup slopestyle event last weekend in Cardrona, New Zealand, he made history as one of the youngest men to ever win a World Cup event, regardless of discipline.
Only one other 15-year-old male is believed to have stood on a World Cup podium at this age, let alone win an event.
That was Aspen freeskier Torin Yater Wallace, who won in France in 2011.
Both men are Aspen Valley Ski Club products.
Corning, who is entering his second year with AVSC, joined fellow American Jamie Anderson, an Olympic gold medalist from 2014, on top of the podium at this Audi Quattro Winter Games competition in Wanaka, New Zealand.
While Anderson was the women’s favorite in slopestyle — she also won at Cardrona in 2013 — Corning’s victory was considered something of a surprise.
The 15-year-old who lives with an Aspen family while training with AVSC “nailed the top position in the first heat, which saw the highest-placed qualifiers well down the list. From then, it was everyone playing catch-up, laying down impressive tricks,” according to the FIS.
Miah Wheeler, head coach of AVSC’s snowboarding program, said, “Chris’ performance was a perfect example of a positive attitude, commitment to training and a great relationship with his coach, Nichole Mason.”
Wheeler said that Corning and nine of his AVSC teammates “spent the three weeks prior (to the event) training at Cardrona, which certainly gave him an advantage.”
Coach Nichole Mason said this victory “kick started a big season for the young (rider).” She said, “Chris is super-stoked and said the experience was very surreal.”
Now, Corning will be invited to compete in the two domestic World Cup events this season, at Mammoth Mountain and Park City, as well as international World Cups in Korea and the Czech Republic.
The win also all but guaranteed an invitation to the Junior Worlds and the World Snowboard Tour Championships in China, she said.
“He works hard and is very focused,” Mason said. “He deserves the win.”
FIS data across disciplines ranging from cross country skiing, ski jumping, freestyle and alpine skiing confirmed this milestone. A total of six women aged 15 have earned World Cup podiums, according to FIS records. Now two men, both AVSC athletes, can share in that honor.
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