Nick Goepper wins his first X Games gold in slopestyle
Nick Goepper, 18, of Lawrenceburg, Ind., solidified his place as a top competitor, winning his first gold on Sunday afternoon.
Goepper was an X Games Aspen newcomer in 2012, but made quite a first impression earning silver. But his win wasn’t necessarily an easy one, there was only a nine point difference between first and eighth place, proving that it was anyone’s game.
“It was nerve racking,” Goepper said, “I was wiping the sweat off my brow every time. I think I almost peed my pants, I was so nervous. I’ve been dreaming of this moment for years and I’m just so excited.”
Goepper said his mother made a comment today that she remembered him as a small child talking about wanting to win X Games.
Henrik Harlaut, 21, of Are, Sweden, who made Big Air history last night with his U-nose butter triple cork 1620, pulled from his unique bag of tricks to cinch a silver medal.
“I felt like I didn’t have any pressure at all since last night went so well,” he said, “I just went out today to have fun and ski as well as I could.”
The bronze went to X Games rookie, James Woods, 21, of Sheffield, Great Britian, who’s most notable trick was a stylish right side double cork 12 truck driver.
“X Games is the dream,” said Woods, “I’ve been dreaming of this since I started skiing when I was 11 years old.”
Norway's Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen won the women's title with Ashley Battersby finishing as the top American in fourth. Battersby crashed on her final run and was being treated for a leg injury. Keri Herman who won the opening Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix, was fifth.
1. Nick Goepper — 94.00
2. Henrik Harlaut — 92.66
3. James Woods — 92.00
4. Alex Bellemare — 90.66
5. Andreas Hatveit — 90.33
6. Bobby Brown — 88.66
7. Alex Schlopy — 87.33
8. Joss Christensen — 85.00
Tiril Sjastad Christiansen becomes youngest female ski gold medalist
X Games Aspen newcomer Tiril Sjastad Christensen, 17, of Geilo, Norway, turned some heads, especially the judges’, with clean rail work into a cab 520 to a left 520 to a switch right 520, followed by a 900 tail on the last jump.
“It’s unbelievable,” she said, “I didn’t think I was getting invited here, but to get gold is just unbelievable.”
Despite some difficulty on her first two runs, Kaya was able to hold on to the podium with her unique and stylish tricks including a grind on the downrail with a grab, a flat 540, switch 720 and switch cork 540
“I am so excited, so relieved, I had a really rough time…falling on a box that didn’t give me trouble all week,” said Turski, “I feel like it’s always that way, the stressful ones are the ones you get perfect.”
Dara Howell, 18, of Huntsville, Canada, nabbed bronze with a beautiful rainbow rail grind followed by some big, technical tricks.
1. Tiril Sjastad Christiansen — 92.33
2. Kaya Turski — 90.00
3. Dara Howell — 89.33
4. Ashley Battersby — 88.66
5. Keri Merman — 88.33
6. Yuki Tsubota — 87.66
7. Jamie Crane-Mauzy — 74.33