Colby Stevenson was the clear winner of today’s Winter X Games men’s ski slopestyle, landing four nearly flawless runs to claim the first gold medal to be won by a rookie in ski slopestyle.
Against a stacked field of hungry competitors, Colby’s talent reigned supreme with impeccable performance in the rail section, backed up by big spins in the jumps anchored by his preternatural ability to grab stale.
Following Colby in the ranking was Canada’s Evan McEachran, who demonstrated similar mastery in the rails, although this writer found his tricks a bit loose in the jumps and is unsatisfied with his placement in second. Coming in third was Fabian Bösch, who landed some powerhouse runs, and seems to have thoroughly surprised himself with his success in slopestyle so far this year.
Missing the cut were big names like Alex Beaulieu-Marchand, who landed one strong run but had problems on the remaining ones; Alex Hall, who seemed uncharacteristically off his game; and Nick Goepper, who was gunning hard for the podium despite a dislocated shoulder earlier this week.
Some highlights of the day included Ferdinand Dahl’s greasy rodeo 180 and flawless 630 on, 270 off, Colby’s freakishly stomped disaster 450 to backslide, and Fabian’s massive triple cork 1440 off the course’s bottom sharkfin feature.
Today was a major test for the X Games’ new judging format based on overall impression, and while most of the right guys ended up on the podium, I’ve reached a solid conclusion about this experimental new format: it’s a sham. More on that in an article to come.