Chris Corning, former AVSC athlete, wins FIS season championship for second straight year
After it all — the contests canceled due to weather, the sudden injury at X Games Aspen and all of those days of offseason strength and conditioning — Chris Corning has repeated as this season’s international slopestyle snowboarding champion.
On Saturday at Mammoth Mountain Resort in California, for the second consecutive year, Corning received the crystal globe trophy that signifies the top point-scorer for the International Ski & Snowboard Federation World Cup slopestyle season. Corning won the title with 2,250 points, ahead of three American teammates in Southern California’s Judd Henkes (1,700 points), Hawaii’s Lyon Farrell (1,627.90) and Corning’s good friend and Alaskan veteran Ryan Stassel (1,590).
With his fifth-place finish in Mammoth — an event won by Summit County snowboarder Red Gerard — Corning earned the final 450 FIS points for his season total of 2,250.
Corning also earned 1,000 points for his win in January at the Laax Open in Switzerland. That victory helped Corning make up ground on Japanese teen phenom Takeru Otsuka, who rivaled and even eclipsed Corning’s point total early in the season before Corning stormed back, beginning with Laax. Ultimately, Corning held an edge on Otsuka before the high-flying Japanese 17-year-old was forced out of late-season competitions, such as this past weekend’s Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix due to a right knee ligament injury he suffered before last month’s Burton U.S. Open in Vail.
Additionally, Corning earned 800 points via his second-place finish at December’s World Cup slopestyle event in Kreischberg, Austria. This season the 19-year-old won the FIS World Snowboard Championships slopestyle competition last month in Park City, Utah, and took second place in slopestyle at the Dew Tour at Breckenridge Ski Resort in December — two major competitions that don’t count toward the World Cup points system.
With his back-to-back slopestyle titles, Corning now has won more FIS snowboard slopestyle season titles than any rider in the sport’s brief history.
“It was definitely one of the goals today, to come here and walk away with the globe, so that’s pretty sweet,” Corning told FIS representatives after Saturday’s competition. “These guys all rode really well today, the course was probably the best it’s been all week, so it was fun to ride today.”
Corning also is currently the unofficial season champion and leader in the FIS’ overall park and pipe snowboarding season standings, which combine results across slopestyle, big air and halfpipe disciplines. Corning won the season-long park and pipe competition last year.
This year, Corning currently has 4,340 points on the 2018-19 season, as Saturday’s 450 points earned at Mammoth pushed him past Otsuka’s point-total of 4,100. Corning reached that 4,340-point mark thanks to his 2,250 slopestyle points and 2,090 points earned across three early-season FIS big air competitions.
In August, Corning earned 1,000 points via his enthralling win at the first World Cup event of the season. At the event, Corning landed his groundbreaking quad-cork 1800 for the first time in competition to take the victory. The move requires Corning to invert four times on his vertical axis while rotating for five, full 360-degree rotations.
Then, in November, Corning took second at the Modena SkiPass big air event in Italy to earn 800 more points, followed by 290 points via a ninth-place finish at a big air event in Beijing, China.
There is one more World Cup snowboarding event for the remainder of the season, a big air competition this weekend in Quebec, Canada. Neither Corning nor Otsuka are competing, and no one competing is within 1,000 points of Corning, meaning Corning has unofficially won the season’s overall park and pipe title for the second straight year.
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