Alex Schlopy Wins X Games Big Air [video]
Alex Schlopy's gold medal performance.
Two days ago, he wasn't even listed in the Big Air event at X Games. But tonight, Alex Schlopy has become the second X Games big air rookie to take home the gold. Fueled by massive airs, a ton of spinning and a ton of stomping, Schlopy took home his first X Games gold medal. Last year's gold medalist Bobby Brown took home the silver, despite being plagued by some sort of back injury, showing that he's tough, as well as incredibly talented. Sammy Carlson, who won gold hours earlier on the slopestyle course, kept the ball rolling by taking bronze tonight.
Sammy Carlson – double cork 1080
“I can't believe this,” said Schlopy. “I came in thinking I was just going to go as big as possible. I just wanted to put on a great show at the X Games. That's what it's all about.”
Starting with 9 men (Russ Henshaw had to drop out after sustaining concussion-like symptom during a fall in practice), they were broken into two jam sessions. The top two from each heat, plus the next highest overall rider would move to the finals.
L-R: Bobby Brown, Alex Schlopy, Sammy Carlson.
Heat 1: Elias Ambühl dominated this heat by dropping successive double cork switch double cork 1260, switch double cork 1440, double cork 1260, double cork 1440 and double cork 1620s. Carlson followed Ambühl with a transfer double cork 1080 and switch double misty 1260. Jacob Wester finished third after putting down double cork 1260s and 1440s, but failed to land his double cork 1620s. Gus Kenworthy put down a gangster switch double cork 1080 and double cork 1260s. Gus unfortunately failed to land his double cork 1620s, like Wester.
Bobby Brown's Silver medal performance.
Heat 2: Alex Schlopy's large switch 1440 and large and smooth double cork 1260 put him atop the pack. Bobby Brown's double cork 1260s and switch double misty 900s put him comfortably into the second spot. Jossi Wells' switch double cork 1440s were not fully appreciated by the judges, although the crowd surely did. Henrik Harlaut put down forward 1080 and 1440 blunts, as well as his signature switch double rodeo 1080, as seen on the slopestyle course. Andreas Håtveit threw a couple minted double cork 1080s but what stole the show was his rightside double cork 1080s.
Jossi Wells, switch double cork 1080.
Advancing was Ambühl, Carlson, Schlopy Brown and Wester (as he beat Wells in the tiebreaker.
The finals were something else. Jacob Wester unfortunately went down hard,(pulled off his ski) during a double corked 1620 attempt. Wester's double cork 1260 and 1440 are on lock down. After having a wonderful qualifying session, the judges seemed to pick on Ambühl. His switch double cork 1260s, perfection. Switch double cork 1440, amazing. Double cork 1260s, out of this world.
Sammy Carlson, bronze medals performance.
Sammy Carlson put down switch double misty 1260s as well as some perfect with double rodeo 1080s. Rumor had it that Sammy would try a triple like Torstein Horgmo did in snowboarding big air, but the takeoff was apparently too icy. Young Bobby Brown put down switch double misty 1440s and double cork 1440s. And finally, Alex Schlopy was firing on all cylinders tonight. Switch double cork 1260s like nothing, switch double wobble 1440s like nothing, huge cork 1260s like butter. But tonight, Schlopy stepped his game up by learning the coveted double cork 1620 tonight. He's even made Sports Center on ESPN with that move. Congrats Schlopy.
What does this do for the AFP? Where will Schlopy end up on the big air list, as he was previously unranked? Will Bobby's second affect his bid for the overall title? All these questions and more can be answered by checking out the AFP Current World rankings page.
Big Air Final Results:
1. Alex Schlopy — 92
2. Bobby Brown — 89
3. Sammy Carlson — 87
4. Elias Ambühl — 83
5. Jacob Wester — 30
About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com, offering insights re: the lives of his Monster athletes.