Sunday, January 31 marks the final day of the 2016 winter X Games. To cap off yet another year of the always-awesome event, twelve of skiing’s finest took their talents to the terrain park at Buttermilk Mountain to battle it out in men’s slopestyle finals. After more than a foot of overnight snowfall, the X Games staff had their hands full in providing a ridable course. But, as expected, they got the job done and the comp went off without a hitch.
Each of the riders put their best efforts forward throughout the day—stomping some jaw-dropping rail tricks, nearly every double cork imaginable, and of course the occasional triple cork. However, at the end of the day, X Games gold could only be captured by one rider, and today, that gold medal belonged to New Zealand native and X Games veteran Jossi Wells.
Wells’ best run included a right 270 on to continuing 270 out of the first down rail; a switch 270 tail press to 270 on to switch out of the second rail feature; a switch 450 onto the third rail; a double cork 1260 mute on the first jump, a switch right double 1080 safety on the second jump; and a switch double cork 1440 safety on the final jump.
Jossi Wells – Gold
Note: This year marks Jossi’s tenth year competing at the X Games. Over the past decade at X, he has captured one bronze medal and three silver medals, so you could say that claiming gold today was long overdue. That said, we are thrilled to have been here to celebrate the day with him. Congratulations, Jossi.
Nabbing the silver medal position on today’s podium was Olympic medalist and X Games veteran Gus Kenworthy. Earlier this week, Kenworthy earned a silver medal in men’s superpipe, and he continued his hot streak right into today’s slopestyle event. Gus K’s best run included a transfer from the flat rail to the down rail, to 270 out; he slid up the second rail, to butter pad, to 270 on, to pretzel 270 out of the second feature; a switch right 270 on, pretzel 270 out of the third rail; a double cork 1080 tail on the first jump; a right double cork 1260 mute on the second booter; and a switch double cork 1080 Japan on the third jump.
Gus Kenworthy – Silver
Rounding out the men’s slopestyle podium today was Norwegian Øystein Bråten. After suffering a nasty fall (attempting a triple cork 1440) in practice this morning, Bråten battled through pain and soreness to earn his first-ever X Games medal. Øystein’s bronze medal run consisted of a front swap transfer to pretzel 270 out of the first feature; a switch on, on the up rail to butter pad, to right 450 out of the second feature; a switch 180 onto the next butter pad, to 270 on, to continuing 270 out of the final rail feature; a switch right double cork 1080 Japan on the first jump; a switch double cork 1260 mute; and a double cork 1080 safety on the final booter.
Øystein Bråten – Bronze
Other notable performances came from U.K. skier James Woods, who secured fourth place today. Also, Bobby Brown (fifth place) landed three runs that surely challenged the judges decision making throughout the contest. Congratulations to all of the competitors. Thank you all for putting on yet another incredible display of talent.
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Men’s slopestyle marked the final freeskiing event of the 2016 winter X Games. Follow the links below to check out complete recaps of each event. Congratulations to all of the athletes competing at this year’s X Games. Until next time, folks.