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X Games Oslo – The longest pipe day ever

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On Sunday, the first X Games Oslo ended with an incredible pipe competition and a magnificent comeback performance by Torin Yater-Wallace.

The X Games are usually all about a busy schedule with many different competitions running at the same time, but this Sunday in Oslo was dedicated exclusively to halfpipe skiing. From 2pm until 8pm, the schedule was booked through—men’s elimination, then women’s and men’s finals.

Watch the runs HERE


The eliminations were a great show by themselves, despite a heavy crash for Noah Bowman and some trouble for Byron Wells, who had one of the best runs on hand, but was kept by mistakes from reaching the finals.

The 160-meter long pipe prevented Joffrey Pollet-Villard and Torin Yater-Wallace from packing more than four hits into their runs—but Torin made the most of those hits, with a strong comeback after health troubles earlier this season and two years off the X Games podium.


The girls started their practice right after the men’s elimination, and the contrast was strong. While the men go high and grab, even in practice, most of the girls didn’t even try, like the best ambassador of this no-style, Maddie Bowman. In second place this time, the multiple X Games winner represents the “spin-to-win” mentality in women’s pipe. Okay, she does three different 900s, but never grabs them. How come a missed grab has a huge effect on a score in Big Air, but seems to have no influence in the pipe?

Cassie Sharpe
Cassie Sharpe

It seems like the girls aren’t just lagging behind—they’re going in the wrong direction. A notable exception Marie Martinod, grabbed her skis or at least touched them, went high on all hits and had a good flow. Result? She ended up in fourth place, because she had no switch skiing and only one 900. So why shouldn’t the girls pick “spin to win” if that’s what the judges are rewarding? Cassie Sharpe proved it with a massive (at least she got that right) cork 900 iron cross. Something has to change here, and if you think I’m being rude, go take a look at women’s snowboard superpipe, or women’s skiing big air.

Watch the runs again HERE

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In contrast, it seemed like flow and emotion played a big role in the scores of Torin Yater-Wallace, who dominated the men’s competition as a cheering crowd including the prince and princess of Norway watched on, undeterred by the night cold setting in.

After watching the runs, you’ll understand why I talk about emotion in Torin’s run. You’ll also see that Alex Ferreira changed his skiing to go higher out of the pipe than he used to, and how relaxed Gus Kenworthy is before his massive closing alley-oop double flatspin 900 japan…

results women

results women

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Beside, and respect for that, it seems the flow and the emotion have a real importance in the score of Torin Yater Wallace who totally domines the men competition while the night and cold temperature don’t discourage the public and even the prince and princess or Norway who are on site.


In conclusion—the men killed it, the public was on fire, the podium well judged. A perfect conclusion to X Games Oslo.

That’s a wrap on the first-ever X Games Oslo, and there’s no certainty that it will be back (it was a one-year contract). Congratulations to all the riders who gave their best in an exciting new edition of the X Games!

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February 29, 2016

alex ferreira, ayana onozuka, cassie sharpe

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