Wise wins Ski SuperPipe for Aspen 3-peat
ASPEN, Colo. -- David Wise won his third consecutive gold medal in the men's Ski SuperPipe final Friday, the first three-peat in men's Ski SuperPipe since Tanner Hall's streak from 2006 to 2008.
French skier Kevin Rolland got silver, and Aspen local Alex Ferreira took bronze.
"The field was super strong," Wise said. "I can't say enough good things about pipe skiing right now; it was amazing."
Wise led after the first of three runs, taking the top spot with a score of 90, thanks to huge amplitude and big spins like a switch rightside 900 and switch double cork rightside 1260.
Rolland answered with a double cork 1260 mute grab in his second run, bumping into silver-medal position, but fell on the last hit of his third run.
In his third run, Ferreira wowed his local fans by soaring as high as 18 feet above the pipe with a 1080, switch down-the-pipe 720, double cork 1260, double down-the-pipe flatspin 900 and 1080, bumping into third place.
Falls from most of the rest of the field left Wise to take a victory lap. Instead, he stepped it up even more, improving to 92.
"I wasn't completely satisfied with my first run so I wanted to up it, do a little bit better," Wise said.
Wise, the 2013 FIS World Cup champion, will be the favorite heading into the Sochi Olympics.
Men's Ski SuperPipe Final
Snowboard Big Air
Canadian rider Max Parrot won his first X Games gold medal in the America's Navy Snowboard Big Air final Friday. He had a backside triple cork 1620 and Cab triple underflip to late 180 in his best two runs for the top combined score.
"It's X Games, it's a big contest, it's my first time at Big Air, and wow, I'm just so happy right now," Parrot said. "I knew what I was going to do, I planned every run and I knew with these runs I would win."
Japanese rider Yuki Kadono gave Parrot a run for it, matching Parrot's best single-run score with a backside triple cork 1620 of his own and a backside triple cork 1440 for the silver medal.
Norwegian rider Ståle Sandbech won bronze, thanks to a backside triple cork 1440 and Cab 1260.
All three medalists will face off again in Sochi when slopestyle makes its Olympic debut.
Parrot said saving himself for the Olympics was far from his mind Friday.
"I don't even realize yet that I'm going to the Olympics," he said. "I'm just focusing contest by contest."
The biggest surprise of the night was that X Games Aspen 2013 Big Air gold medalist Torstein Horgmo missed the cut for finals after falls in the first round. Horgmo has mostly owned Big Air competition in recent years, winning three gold and two silver medals in his seven previous X Games appearances.
Mark McMorris, the Big Air gold medalist from 2012, dropped out of the competition Friday to focus on slopestyle.
"With Sochi fast approaching," McMorris said, "I want to keep my focus on slopestyle here at X Games."
America's Navy Snowboard Big Air Final
Women's Ski SuperPipe
The women's Ski SuperPipe gold on Friday night at X Games Aspen 2014 belonged to American Maddie Bowman, the defending champion.
Canadian skier Roz Groenewoud won silver, and French skier Marie Martinod took bronze.
"X Games is huge, so I think I'm on top of the world right now," Bowman said. "I think the biggest thing was just coming out here and having fun, kind of just focusing on the skiing and having a good time."
All eight of the women's Ski SuperPipe competitors in Friday's final also are headed next month to Sochi, where the first Olympic freeskiing medals will be up for grabs.
Groenewoud, the X Games Aspen 2012 gold medalist, led after the first of three runs Friday, just ahead of Bowman. It was Groenewoud's first contest of the season after knee surgery in December.
Bowman bumped ahead in her second run with a score of 88.66, thanks to tricks like a rightside 900 and switch 720, enough to hold up for the win.
Japan's Ayana Onozuka brought big airs on her way to a fourth-place finish.
"The biggest thing about this group of girls is we're just friends," Bowman said. "We travel together, we ski together all the time, and there's such good camaraderie. I'm so excited to go to Russia with them. We're going to have a great time."
Women's Ski SuperPipe Final
Women's Snowboarder X
Lindsey Jacobellis pushed past Eva Samkova and Helene Olafsen to win her eighth gold medal in the Snowboarder X race, setting a record for golds by a woman in X Games history.
"With the last two years, what I've been through, it's like the icing on the cake," said Jacobellis, who has had several knee surgeries and a long recovery process since blowing out her left ACL at X Games Aspen 2012. The race was not contested at X Games Aspen 2013.
Jacobellis is headed to Sochi next month for her third Olympics, where she'll be aiming for her first gold after winning silver in 2006 and finishing fifth in 2010. She said the X Games win gives her the "best confidence I could have going into Sochi."
Jacobellis got a slow start out of the gate but made up for it farther down the course.
"That's always been my hardest thing, to get a good start, and I'm still not the first one out the gate, so I just try to work every feature and match, every landing, as best I can and try to get into a small tuck," she said.
Canadian rider Dominique Maltais, the X Games Aspen 2012 gold medalist, just missed the cut for the final, finishing her semifinal round in third place.
Women's Snowboarder X Final
Men's Snowboarder X
Nate Holland won his seventh X Games gold medal, beating out fellow American rider Alex Tuttle and German rider Konstantin Schad in the men's Snowboarder X final despite a recent collarbone injury.
"Another X Games gold? I can't believe it," said Holland, 35, an X Games competitor since 2002. "This year's gone up and down for me so much: broken collarbone, Olympic qualifiers, scratched my way to the Olympics. ... It's just been a year of adversity, and I'm just so stoked to overcome that. I'm on the right path now, and it gives me so much confidence for Sochi."
Holland dominated Snowboarder X at X Games from 2006 to '10, claiming the first X Games five-peat, and won again at X Games Aspen 2012.