By Tom Kelly/USSA.ORG
U.S. Snowboarding rider Louie Vito (Bellefontaine, OH) captured halfpipe snowboarding gold Friday night, topping a talented halfpipe field at the European X Games in Tignes, France. The gold was Vito’s first at the X Games – USA or Europe – and he did it on the grand stage, delighting the Friday night crowds with a run that featured three stylish double corks.
“I’ve always liked the pressure that’s why I like doing contests,” said Vito. “I just wanted to put down a run and land a run I’m happy with.”
Vito beat out Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov and Christian Haller. Podladtchikov was last year’s Euro X halfpipe champion.
Greg Bretz, Thursday’s top qualifier was unable to duplicate his halfpipe success and had to settle for fifth.
But it was another standout result for U.S. Snowboarding rookie Matt Ladley (Steamboat Springs, CO). Ladley, who won the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix in Mammoth Mountain two weeks ago, was fourth.
The conclusion of the men’s halfpipe snowboarding event signals the end of the 2011 European Winter X Games. The halfpipe snowboarding contest will air on ESPN Friday at 9 p.m. ET.
Gold: Louie Vito, Bellefontaine, OH, 93.00
Silver: Iouri Podladtchikov, Switzerland, 91.33
Bronze: Christian Haller, Switzerland, 82.33
4. Matt Ladley, Steamboat Springs, CO, 77.66
5. Greg Bretz, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 61.00
6. Jack Mitrani, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 46.00
7. Mason Aguirre, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 26.33
For complete results go to espn.comBy Tome