Following the men’s slopestyle final today, it was the ladies’ turn to drop in for a shot at X Games glory. The final was marked by mix of solid skiing, and two nasty crashes—resulting in injury for Rose Battersby and Ashley Battersby (no relation)—and thus, the women’s final will be remembered as a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. But at the end of the day, it was Norwegian Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen’s gold medal performance that stands out foremost in the minds of those who were on site.
At 17 years of age, Tiril becomes the youngest female to win gold at an X Games ski event. What’s more? She’s an X Games rookie, and ousted three-time defending gold medalist Kaya Turski en route to the top.
Tiril crashed on the first rail feature of her first run this afternoon, putting the pressure on for runs two and three (as per usual with X Games finals, competitors have three chances to stomp a clean run). Tiril came up big on her second run, earning a 91.33. Tiril upped her score on run number three, bagging a 92.33 for her run which consisted of a smooth K-Fed on the first down rail; a BS 270 off the up rail; a ride along the down rail; a switch left 5; a left 5; a switch right 5 tail and a rightside 900 on the money booter.
Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen wins 2013 X Games Aspen slopestyle gold
“It’s unbelievable,” said Tiril about taking the win today. “I didn’t think I was even going to get an invite [to X Games this year]. Winning is insane. I have no words.”
Tiril explained she was nervous watching the other skiers drop, as any one of them could have bumped her from the top spot. She was particularly nervous about Kaya Turski. “Kaya is such a good skier, she’s been my idol since I started skiing,” Tiril said.
Kaya struggled on her first two drops today, leaving her with just one shot to stomp a clean run. Ultimately, she was the last competitor to drop, and the only thing that stood between Tiril and the top of the podium. Just before Kaya was set to drop, Ashley Battersby took a hefty spill on the bottom jump in the course, suffering a knee injury and requiring medical attention. As a result, Kaya was forced to wait 35+ minutes at the top of the course prior to dropping in.
Reminding us that she is indeed the winningest female slopestyle skier of all time, Kaya stomped her run once the course was clear: A backside switch-up on the down box, a backside 270 out of the up box, a ride along the down rail whilst grabbing her ski, a switch-up over the flat-gap-to-down, a switch on—450 out of the cannon, a rodeo 5, switch 7 and a switch corked 540 to close.
Kaya’s run was solid, and spectators eagerly awaited her score from the judges. A 90.00 flashed on the screen, putting her in second. Tiril was instantly overcome with emotion as she realized the gold medal belonged to her, shedding tears of joy in the finish corral.
“No doubt I experienced a mixture of emotions throughout the day,” said Kaya. “I had a really rough time my first two runs. And then I was so bummed to hear Ashley go down… I had a great support system up top with me—my coaches, my team manager, my dad… so I just tried to keep as cool as possible. I’m really excited to put down a run, especially in that situation.”
Canadian Dara Howell rounded out the podium today, her run including a nice ride along the rainbow rail and smooth, technical jumps, including a massive rodeo 540 on the last jump in the course.
Other highlights from the day included Jamie Crane-Mauzy’s double backflip over the money booter, Ashley Battersby’s 4th place run, consisting of smooth rail riding, a solid rodeo 5 and a switch 7, and Yuki Tsubota’s big ol’ backflips.
During the warmup session prior to the start of finals, Rose Battersby suffered a lumbar spine fracture, according to X Games Medical; she was transported to a Denver area hospital. Our best wishes go out to both Rose and Ashley—here’s to a speedy, and full recovery.
2013 X Games Aspen Women’s Slopestyle Final Results
1. Tiiril Sjåstad Christiansen — 92.33
2. Kaya Turski — 90.00
3. Dara Howell — 89.33
4. Ashley Battersby — 88.66
5. Keri Herman — 88.33
6. Yuki Tsubota — 87.66
7. Jamie Crane-Mauzy — 74.33