13-year-old Sildaru survives a late challenge by Tiril S. Christiansen to win gold in her first-ever X Games slopestyle appearance.
(Cover photo: Peter Morning/ESPN Images)
The hype has been around for a while, and 13-year-old Kelly Sildaru lived up to it today, holding off a field of older competitors to claim the gold medal in her first-ever X Games slopestyle appearance while setting the record for the youngest-ever female X Games champion to boot.
Kelly Sildaru floated to victory with style. Photo: Matt Morning/ESPN Images
Sildaru’s winning run consisted of an absolutely dialed K-fed on the top rail, a clean switch 270 on, pretzel 270 out, and a polished performance in the jumps: switch 900 mute, a beautiful right cork 720 reverse mute, and a left 900 tail to round things out.
Former champion Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen didn’t let Kelly take the win easily, though. In her third and final run, the Norwegian competitor upped the ante on the rails with a front swap and a switch 2 on, 2 out, and cleaned up in the jumps as well, stomping a massive switch 1080 tail on the bottom jump. But it wasn’t quite enough to bump Sildaru from the top spot.
Sildaru wasn’t the only newcomer to make a splash on the slopestyle course today. Norwegian skier Johanne Killi also made the podium in her first X Games appearance, with a cork 900 trailing blunt on the final jump that could have been in a Tom Wallisch edit.
All it in all it was a fine exhibition of women’s freeskiing today on the slopestyle course of Aspen. Stay tuned for more X Games action this weekend including women’s superpipe and men’s slopestyle and big air—full event schedule here.
Front swap, backside 270 out (K-Fed)
Frontside 270 out
switch 270 on, pretzel 270 out
switch left 900 mute
Rightside cork 720 reverse mute
Leftside 900 tail
Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen
Frontside 450 out
Frontside switch-up to switch
Switch right 270 on, 270 out
Left cork 720 safety
Right 900 tail
Switch right 1080 tail
Left 270 on to forward
Front 270 out
Switch right 270 on to switch
Switch left 720 mute
Switch right cork 540 safety
Left cork 900 trailing blunt