Russ Henshaw wins the Jon Olsson Invitational Big Air

Russ Henshaw wins the Jon Olsson Invitational Big Air

Mayhem. Absolute mayhem. That is the only word to describe tonight’s events at the Jon Olsson Invitational Big Air here in Ã…re, Sweden. Eighteen of the world’s best clashed under the lights, for cash and more importantly, the glory of joining skiing’s upper echelon as a JOI Champion.

The weather kept up its recent M.O. of being terrible, as the rain fell, the wind gusted and the light was less than optimal. All of the 14 JOSS athletes were pre-qualified for the event, but a few decided to pull out of the event, due to either working on their JOSS edit or sheer weariness from working hard these past two weeks. Jon Olsson personally invited five athletes, Kim Boberg, Teen Sensation Bobby Brown, Thomas Dolplads, Mike Clarke and Oscar Scherlin to join the crews here in Ã…re. And rounding out the roster tonight, were the top three finishers from yesterday’s Swedish Open: Fridchof Fredriksson, Niklas Eriksson and Steffen Hammre.

After a very wet practice, each competitor was given two jump, the best counting, in which to impress the judges and vie for one of eight final spots. Dub corks galore, even a forward 1440 from Fridchof Fredriksson were all on the table. Unfortunately, the 2007 JOI Champ and last week’s Sweet Rumble Champ PK Hunder suffered a minor neck injury ad took himself out of the competition, despite sitting in first place after the first run. But in the end it was: Jon Olsson, Jossi Wells, Thomas Dolplads, Russ Henshaw, TJ Schiller, Andreas HÃ¥tveit, Oscar Scherlin and Teen Senesation Bobby Brown. Jossi however relinquished his spot to Henrik Harlaut, due to a nagging knee injury.

In the first rounds it was Jon Olsson against Teen Superhottie Bobby Brown. Both dropped switch dub rodeos, Jon opting for the 1080 variation while Bobs stuck with the 900. Smart move for Jon as he moved on. Next it was Andreas HÃ¥tveit again Henrik Harlaut. Henni Lo dropped a near perfect switch 1620 mute and Andreas blew everyone’s mind with a dub cork 1260, advancing himself against his Scandinavian brother. Oscar Sherlin then squared off against big timer TJ Schiller. TJ threw a switch dub rodeo 900 with the most perfectly executed landing ever and Oscar threw the biggest switch 1260 double mute ever, with the Ã…re local Scherlin advancing. And in the final prelim round, Aussie Russ Henshaw bested Norwegian Thomas Dolplads. Russ’ dub 1080 double grab stomping all over Thomas’ forward 1080.

In the semi-finals, Russ used said dub 1080 to push past Swedish Legend and event namesake Jon Olsson’s switch double 1080, whereas Andreas narrowly beat Oscar’s GIGANTIC switch 1260 with his dub 1260 mute. In the conslation jump for 3rd/4th between Scherlin and Olsson, the two decided to hit the jump tandem, thus splitting 3rd place and the prize money.

In the finals, a one-and-done format, Russ and Andreas threw the same tricks they used all finals: Dub 1080 double grab vs. dub 1260. Both perfect, both large, both stomped. While both finalists made their way to the stage, the crowd was marinating in suspence. but in the end, it was Australia’s Russ Henshaw who took home the crown, King of JOI. The traditional champagne spraying saw Jon Olsson drench Oscar and Russ, before they could get their champagne open.

As another successful JOI comes to a close, the anticipation switches from a head-to-head big air to tomorrow night’s JOSS Awards at the Holiday Club, here in Ã…re. Two weeks of blood, sweat and snus will be played in front of thousands for the first time. Check back tomorrow to see who wins the biggest event of the year.

1) Russ Henshaw
2) Andreas HÃ¥tveit
T-3) Jon Olsson and Oscar Scherlin
T-5-8) Thomas Dolplads, Henrik Harlaut, TS Bobby Brown, TJ Schiller

DNS Finals: PK Hunder, Jossi Wells

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