Former AVSC snowboarder Chris Corning finishes fourth at X Games Norway big air
FRISCO — Chris Corning of Silverthorne competed with the world’s best big air snowboarders Saturday before taking fourth place at the X Games Norway competition in Oslo.
Corning’s two-run score of 79.33 had him in bronze medal position heading into the final jump of the contest before Japanese star Yuki Kadono landed a front-side 1440 with a tail grab to jump the 19-year-old American for the final spot on the podium.
Corning, who now splits his time between Eagle and Summit counties, started off the final round by landing a flat-spin, front-side 1440 for a score of 38.00. Each snowboarder had three attempts to land one backside and one frontside trick.
After landing his frontside trick on his first run, Corning was in third place after the first round of runs. Corning then went for a massive back-side, triple-cork 1620 with a mute grab. But on the 40-meter scaffolding jump at Oslo’s Telenor Arena, Corning wasn’t able to land the trick cleanly.
Heading into his third and final run, Corning needed to land a backside trick. After trying the 1620 on the second attempt, Corning opted for a triple-cork 1440 with a melon grab on his final run. The trick earned him a 41.33 for a total score of 79.33.
After temporarily holding silver medal position behind gold medalist Max Parrot, Corning fell to third and then fourth place after Sven Thorgren of Sweden (silver medal, 88.33) and Kadono (bronze medal, 84.66) each landed their final tricks.
Corning finished ahead of finalists Mark McMorris of Canada (30.00) and Stian Kleivdal of Norway (21.00) and the following riders who didn’t advance out of Saturday morning’s elimination round: Fridtjof Tischendorf, Rene Rinnekangas, Markus Olimstad and Mons Roisland.
To advance out of the elimination round, Corning landed a back-side triple cork 1440 with a melon grab on his first run for a one-run score of 79.33. The elimination round featured scoring on a 100-point scale, with the best of two jumps counting. The final round consisted of scoring on a 50-point scale, with the best back-side and front-side tricks counting.
Canadian star Max Parrot won the event (91.00) just two months after his final chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which he was diagnosed with in December. Parrot won his 10th X Games medal and sixth X Games gold of his career on the strength of a huge cab 1620 on his first run which earned him a 47.00. Parrot then followed that up with a front side triple-cork 1440 with a mute grab on his second run to earn a 44.00 for that combined tally of 91.00.
“Honestly, you know, I’ve been living a nightmare for the past months,” Parrot said to X Games reporter Jack Mitrani after the competition. “And all I was dreaming was to be here today. (It) was something pretty hard for me. I only had two months to get back in shape for this, which was kind of almost impossible. And I’ve been here and honestly getting this here is like the candy at the end. I’m living the dream today.”
Saturday’s competition took place on a one-of-a-kind scaffolding jump constructed outside of the Telenor Arena. Event officials then removed a small portion of the arena’s roof to allow for snowboarders to drop in from outside to inside, riding the ramp to a landing at the base of the arena. The scaffolding jump was particularly challenging due to its steep slope and setup, as riders dropped in without being able to see the jump or landing.
In the end, though, despite being away from competition for more than eight months, Parrot mastered it better than anyone else.
“I’m a really motivated person,” Parrot said. “When I want something, I do anything I can to get it, and this was my goal today. Honestly, (I’m) mostly just happy to be here and compete. Winning a gold was something I dreamed of. But, yeah, so happy.”
In the women’s snowboard big air competition, American Julia Marino of Connecticut won the bronze medal with a score of 74.66, behind silver medalist and Japanese teen phenom Kokomo Murase (77.66) and gold medalist Anna Gasser of Austria (86.99).
Mikaela Shiffrin did a lot of soul searching after she didn’t win a medal and didn’t finish three of her five individual races at last year’s Beijing Olympics after entering the games amid enormous expectations.