X Games Recap: The 2016 men’s superpipe comp was one for the ages

X Games Recap: The 2016 men’s superpipe comp was one for the ages

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The 2016 edition of the winter X Games is officially upon us. This evening marked the beginning of this year’s X Games with men’s superpipe serving as the opening event. As expected, things are off to a mighty fine start.

Twelve of freeskiing’s finest halfpipe skiers met atop Buttermilk mountain to battle head-to-head in a best-of-three run format in this year’s superpipe event. The prize? The chance to stamp their name in X Games lore and fill their wallet with a boat load of cash.

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Per usual, the competition was packed with high-flying action up until the very last rider to drop. That final rider, Kevin Rolland, posted a score of 93.33 on his third run through the pipe—good enough to earn the gold medal (his third X Games Aspen gold medal). Rolland came through in the clutch and stomped a run including a switch double cork 1080 safety, a right double cork 1260 mute, a left double cork 1260 mute, a right side 900 tail and a double 1080 tail.

Watch: 2016 X Games champion Kevin Rolland discusses his victory

Locking up the second spot on the podium tonight was American Gus Kenworthy. Kenworthy stomped his silver medal run on his second bout with the halfpipe. His amplitude-filled run included a double cork 1260 safety, a right side 1080 tail, a switch double cork 1080 Japan, a double flat spin alley-oop 900 Japan, and a double cork 1080 safety. The event marked just the second time that Kenworthy had ever captured an X Games medal.

“I think that the thing I had going for me was amplitude,” Kenworthy said. “I just tried to go as big as I could. I know that reigns supreme at X Games especially—they just want to see people going massive.”

Occupying the third spot on the men’s superpipe podium was Frenchman Benoit Valentin. The Frenchman’s run included a switch 1080 tail, an alley-oop flatspin 540 Japan, a 900 tail, a right side double cork 1260 safety and a left double cork 1260 tail. Also note: Tonight’s event marked Valentin’s first-ever X Games podium appearance.

“It feels good,” Valentin said after the event. “Right now I could not feel better. This is my first-ever X Games medal. It feels so good to share the podium with my friend and teammate Kevin [Rolland]…I’m just so happy right now.”

Official Results

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