Still on a high from winning an X Games gold as a rookie, Alex Schlopy sat in front of media types, modest as ever, not fully realizing the history he’s made.
At his home stomping grounds on the King’s Crown Terrain Park in Park City, Schlopy made world history, U.S. history, and freeskiing history by winning the first ever FIS Freestyle World Championship slopestyle event.
The contest is the single most important event for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who is considering the skiing slopestyle event for 2014 Olympic Games.
His second run score- 41.80 was just good enough to nudge out USA teammate Sammy Carlson (41.50) and Australia's Russ Henshaw (41.20).
“Doing well in my home town is the best feeling ever,” Schlopy said. “I’m really really surprised. I tried not to expect too much from myself.”
Alex Schlopy – © Erik Seo
With out much of a break after X Games, early 6 a.m. wake up calls two days in a row and ice cold temperatures, athletes were well, exhausted. But stakes were high, adrenaline kicked in and athletes from all over the world, including Czechoslovkia, England, Denmark, Germany and Slovenia, put on impressive performances over two days to show the IOC why slopestyle is a viable Olympic event.
“We were out skiing in the dark when the lights were on.. in the morning,” said women’s 6th place finisher Ashley Battersby.
Schlopy won himself $6,153.84 USD (converted from $6,000 Swiss franks) for throwing a run that consisted of a 270 disaster to bottom part of the down flat box, a front 450 out of the rail into a blind 450 out of the up- rail. On the jumps he threw a corked left 900, a switch 1260 and stomped a clean double cork 1260 on the money booter.
Fresh off his X Games slopestyle win, Carlson showed the crowd why he owns so much hardware. In the rail section he did a lip- 270 on the down flat down box and hit the A- frame rail differently from anyone else- by doing a switch 270 on to the the side of it. He then threw a switch 450 disaster on the flat- down box to 270 out. On the jumps he threw a switch right 720 into a switch- double- rodeo 900 and finished off the run with a huge left double- cork 1080.
“I wanted to put on a good show for the FIS,” Carlson said. “I couldn't be more stoked coming in second.”
Russ Henshaw – © Erik Seo
With the jumps a little bit smaller than the ones at X Games, Henshaw couldn’t quite throw all the doubles has in the bag but got 2 out of 3. He started off the run by doing a 270 on the down rail, into a 270 on A- frame rail and then threw a switch 450 disaster on the flat- down box. He did a hand drag 360 out of the butter pad. On the jumps he threw a right coked 900 into a switch double rodeo 900 and stomped down a huge double cork 1080 on the final jump.
Rounding out the top 5 was Norway's Thomas Dolplads who was in first after the first runs and Sweden's Jacob Wester who both threw double corks off the last jump.
The OIC will make their final decision in April whether or not to include skiing slopestyle in the 2014 Olympics. Some of the things the IOC will be investigating is whether or not there is a big media and spectator interest and how accurate the current judging process is said Sarah Lewis, a FIS representative.
1. Alex Schlopy, (USA) 41.80
2. Sam Carlson (USA) 41.5
3. Russ Henshaw (AUS) 41.2
4. Thomas Dolplads (NOR) 40.6
5. Jacob Wester (SWE) 37.7
6. John Strenio (USA) 37.3
By Becca Babicz