The Flying Tomato, Shaun White earned his second gold medal at his debut European X Games in Tignes, France on Friday. After yesterday’s phenomenal win in the halfpipe the international snow sports community was eager to see what the legendary snowboarder would bust out at the slopestyle event.
White came out huge with a great first run, but improved upon his marks even further during his second rally which included three double corks in a row, along with a switch double cork 1080 and two double cork 1260s. The world-class run incited a monstrous roar from the excited crowds and earned the rider a top score of 97.00. Friday’s slopestyle victory marks White’s 24th X Games event medal and 16th gold.
White’s triumphant return to slopestyle is a testament to the raw talent that he has on a board. He’s taken the past two years off to concentrate on his skating and in preparation for the Olympics. Yet, after witnessing his performance at Tignes, its clear to see he has not missed a beat!
“These guys have been pushing the limits of what’s possible in the Slopestyle course and they put the gauntlet in front of me,” White told ESPN. “I think I’ve finally caught up and I’m happy to be back.”
Mark McMorris continued ride at the same level that gave him the double gold at this year’s Winter X in Aspen’s Slopestyle and Big Air McMorris took the silver medal on Friday with a solid run that earned him a 90.00. His run featured a frontside cab 1080 and a frontside double cork 1080.
“It’s been a good contest. The weather’s nice, the jumps are big, the rails are heavier than last year. Obviously, Shaun is back,” McMorris said. “Back in black. I’m just going to have to come back and beat him next year.”
Eric Willett rounded out the slopestyle podium with a third place finish, taking home this second bronze medal in a row at Tignes. Willett’s run featured two double cork 1080s that earned left him with a score of 88.
“That was an emotional rollercoaster,” he said. “I’m happy to make the podium, but I think one of the Norwegians (Ståle Sandbech or Aleksander Oestreng) should have been in my place — they both rode so well. But I’m stoked I was able to keep my podium streak here.”