Wiig leaves Winter X Games 11 as top dog
ASPEN Andreas Wiig made an indelible mark on Winter X Games 11 Sunday when he became the event’s only athlete to win two gold medals.One day after winning the men’s slopestyle competition, Wiig captured the X Games’ inaugural snowboard best trick showdown.”I just can’t believe that I got two golds – I didn’t even expect to get one,” Wiig said, after defeating Travis Rice in the best trick finals. “But I’m walking home with two, so it just feels twice as good.”Rice, who advanced to the finals of the head-to-head competition by nailing a double-corked frontside 1080 against Antti Autti in the second semifinal, faltered against Wigg by falling on both runs.
“We lost light and I couldn’t see anything,” Rice said. “I think it’s a cool event, but they definitely didn’t throw it at the right time of day because it’s all shady.”After Rice’s first finals fall, Wiig landed a frontside 1080 for 90 points. When Rice wiped out again, it was time for the fourth-year X Games competitor to take a glory run.”It’s always better to go last so you can see what other guy is doing,” Wiig said. “So in my last run, I knew I didn’t have to do anything. I was really lucky getting first in slopestyle and it helped for the best trick as well.”In addition to receiving a shiny medal for his victory, Wiig picked up a brand new Yamaha snowmobile.”Is the key in it?,” he asked in jest, prior to receiving his prize. “I’m psyched to have a sled. … It’s going to be for my photographer, so he can actually be out there getting some photos.”
After losing to Rice by two points in the semifinal round, Autti went on to beat Danny Davis for the bronze.”I’m stoked,” Autti said. “I wanted to do good here. I got fourth yesterday [in slopestyle] and I wanted to be on the podium.”Autti was one of three athletes to compete in the best trick competition a few hours before squaring off in the halfpipe final (Mathieu Crepel and Danny Kass were the others). “I’m pretty beat from the whole week,” Autti said. “It’s been a lot of riding – halfpipe, slopestyle and then best trick. So, I’ll try my best [in the halfpipe finals] and then I’m just going to go party.”
Kass, an Olympic silver medalist, didn’t seem to mind throwing down at two events in one day.”It’s not a distraction at all,” Kass said. “It’s more of an opportunity to try some different tricks that we’re not normally doing in slopestyles or whatever.”The top eight finishers from Saturday’s slopestyle competition qualified for the best trick contest. Jussi Oksanen (2nd) and Shaun White (3rd) both opted out however, which made room for Hampus Mosesson and Chas Guldemond to compete.After winning the first X Games installment of the best trick showdown, Wiig sang the competition’s praises.”I think it’s a good event,” he said. “Hopefully it will come back. I think it’s good for TV – snowboarding is supposed to be entertaining and it’s a fun competition to watch.”
Of the 10 players listed on the varsity roster ahead of Tuesday’s home game with Summit, two were juniors, seven were sophomores and one was a freshman. It’s a far cry from the class of 10 seniors who last season led the Skiers to a perfect 27-0 mark and the Class 3A state championship.