Tess Ledeux made a major addition to her trophy cabinet today. The young French star stomped a near-perfect double cork 1260 mute and a switch 900 japan to claim the gold medal in Women’s Ski Big Air at X Games Norway.
Ledeux was joined on the podium by two skiers from the powerhouse Swiss team, Giulia Tanno and Mathilde Gremaud. Tanno landed a forward double cork 1080 safety and a rightside cork 900 tail to secure second place. Gremaud put down a beautiful double cork 1260 of her own on her first hit, but wasn’t able to land the second trick she wanted, a switch double cork 1080. Still, her combined score was still good enough for third place.
The first major Big Air event of the 2019/2020 season, X Games Norway provided a glimpse at what the women’s field is packing for the upcoming contest season. A few takeaways:
– As expected, the Swiss girls are coming as hard as ever. Sarah Hoefflin missed this podium due to some binding-release issues, but was looking to land her own switch double 10, and put down a squeaky-clean cork 900 cuban as good as any girl has ever done. Keep an eye on the power trio of Hoefflin, Gremaud and Tanno to be making podium moves in any contest they’re in.
– Tess Ledeux is looking strong. At 17 years young, the enfant prodige from La Plagne now has four X Games medals to her name, and will doubtless be looking to improve the count. Tellingly, she was the most comfortable in the field at spinning switch on this difficult scaffolding setup.
– X Games Norway has cycled through a variety of formats in its 3-year history. What started as a spring on-snow event complete with halfpipe, slopestyle and Big Air has now shrunk to a one-day arena Big Air event. While the reduction is to be lamented, it’s still cool to see the X Games franchise making a stop in Europe. And it’s a unique chance for the limited field of invited athletes to pick up a gold medal that’s weighed equally with a win at the main Winter X Games event in Aspen.