Winter X Tignes 2012
This year's Winter X Games Tignes, which took place on three sunny days in the French Alps, delivered huge victories and new tricks. Among the highlights? Louie Vito's final SuperPipe run, which had four double corks in a row, good enough for silver.
Sebastien Toutant, the WX Europe 2011 and WX Aspen 2012 Slopestyle silver medalist, qualified first in Men's Snowboard Slopestyle elims Thursday at Winter X Games Tignes 2012. He finished sixth in the finals.
A record-breaking number of people showed up to watch the events in Tignes this year, with some 31,700 spectators in attendance on the day Torin Yater-Wallace won gold in the SuperPipe.
Bobby Brown last won Ski Slopestyle gold at Winter X in Aspen in 2010. He returned to the top of the Slope podium this year in Tignes. "It's an awesome end to the contest year," Brown said.
Kelly Clark has won 17 contests in the past two years, including a gold this week in SuperPipe at WX Tignes 2012. "I love bridging the gap between the possible and impossible and that's what inspires me," Clark says.
Dara, Kaya, Anna
The top three in Women's Ski Slopestyle finals, from left: Dara Howell, Kaya Turski and Anna Segal. Turski's win was her sixth straight gold medal at a Winter X event.
This is the third year that Winter X Games has taken place in Tignes, France, and this week it was announced that the contest would remain in Tignes through at least 2014.
"It's been a good contest," said Mark McMorris, who took second in Snowboard Slopestyle. "The weather's nice, the jumps are big, the rails are heavier than last year."
Coming off a perfect score in SuperPipe at Winter X Aspen, Shaun White scored a 98 to win gold again in France. "That first run I gave it my all," White said.
The day after his pipe win, White surprised everybody by also winning Slopestyle, the first WX Slope contest he has entered since January 2009. "I'm just going to have to come back and beat [Shaun] next year," joked Mark McMorris, who got second.
Jamie Anderson said she wanted to go for a 900 in her Slopestyle run, but it "needs a little bit more work." She won gold with a 720 and a 540.
"I'm so happy to be here with all the girls," Jamie Anderson said after winning Snowboard Slopestyle and getting clobbered by her co-competitors and friends.
Roz Groenewoud may soon have to defend her "highest air" title. (She holds the women's record for getting 14.5 feet out of the Winter X Aspen pipe in January.) Japan's Ayana Onozuka went bigger out of the WX Tignes pipe than any other woman.
"Sarah [won] on her third run last year, too," said WX Tignes SuperPipe champ Roz Groenewoud, "and I was thinking about that up at the top. I definitely felt her with me."
David Wise was on a winning streak heading into the pipe in Tignes, where he got third. "People like to pick a favorite and add pressure," Wise said. "But the only pressure that really matters is what you put on yourself."
In the Men's Ski SuperPipe finals, the crowd seemed to cheer the loudest for Thomas Krief, who was one of two Frenchmen in the final. He earned a silver medal.