words: Mary Walsh
photos: Aaron Blatt and Mary Walsh
With the return of a women’s edition of big air, the fabeled X Games send-fest was spread out over two night, beginning Thursday, January 26th as the ladies sent the kicker during the first event of Winter X, followed by the men, who dropped in on Friday night, January 27th. This Aspen one hitter has long catalyzed rotational wizardry on the men’s side–it’s a contest that now demands a triple cork 1440 be a stock trick for any participant hoping to medal–and for the women, the event did the same, prompting a slew of multi-axis big spins that had never been seen before in competition.
Jamie Anderson, Cheryl Maas, Kjersti Buaas, Klaudia Medlova, Katie Ormerod, Julia Marino, Anna Gasser, and Hailey Langland dropped in succession during the twenty-five minute jam and off the bat, it was apparent that the entire field was intent on kicking off women’s big air with a bang. First drop, Anna Gasser put the landing gear down on her signature cab double underflip. Anna would take second place and earn a silver medal. Julia Marino has the same trick in her arsenal and quickly answered with a cab double underflip, too. In her first X Games showing, Julia took home the bronze.
It was Hailey Langland, who, at only 16-years-old possesses some of the most enviable jumping style on the competition circuit, would earn the gold medal by landing a cab double ten, a trick she learned during practice that night.
On Friday night, the men were shuttled to the drop of the massive big air runway to send it off the lip into the Aspen darkness. Stale Sandbech, Sebastien Toutant, Yuki Kadono, Sven Thorgren, Max Parrot, Kyle Mack, Marcus Kleveland, and Mark McMorris, whose collective ability at firing off consistent, multi-axis spins creates an illusion while watchingn big air that landing triple cork 1440’s in rapid succession is a casual matter, provided even more WTFs and NBDs. Marcus Kleveland, X Games Aspen rookie, made it clear why he has been turning heads over the past few seasons by just stomping the first quad cork ever landed in competition. Marcus added a shiny, silver medal to what is likely to eventually be a large collection.
Mark McMorris added a fifth big air medal to his cache, landing a perfect backside triple cork 1620. He attempted a quad, a trick that his brother, Craig, who was announcing the event, said he had never tried before. While he didn’t find his feet perfectly on landing, it’s a sure bet the quad isn’t far off for this talented jumper. In the end, it was Quebecois savant, Max Parrot, who took home the gold, putting down two never-been-done competition tricks, a triple cork 1800 and a quad cork underflip and edging out the young Norwegian, Marcus Kleveland, by only one point.
X Games Aspen 2017 Big Air Results:
first – Hailey Langland –
second – Anna Gasser
third – Julia Marino
first – Max Parrot
second – Marcus Kleveland
third – Mark McMorris