Canada’s Sebastien Toutant had an epic ride in Men’s Ski Slopestyle that led him to the podium at X Games Tignes on Friday. By landing the first clean triple cork of the competition and stylish rail variations in all three runs, Toutant took home his first X Games gold.
However, Toutant’s endeavors to take the title was not easily given. Toutant went head-to-head with defending X Games Aspen gold medalist and close friend Mark McMorris who is a dominant athlete in the sport. Since the first X Games competition for Toutant and McMorris who won silver and gold, respectively, much progression has been accomplished.
After the competition, Toutant told X Games, “Mark’s been killing it this year. I’ve known him since I was little and you know he proved himself a lot.”
With a positive attitude, McMorris spoke to X Games about Toutant, “I was stoked for Seb already and he absolutely killed it. It was my last slopestyle run of the year contest-wise, and to end it like that I’m happy. That’s the way I wanted to ride and whatever happened happened.”
In Run 2, Toutant pulled off a clean triple cork and a solid Cab 1260 and earned a score of 95.0 which put pressure on the rest of the competitors to follow his example and pull off triples on the newest 68-foot jump feature. Along with Toutant’s solid switch hardway backside 270 to switch lipslide 270 out on the first rail, the competition became even more fierce. With only one point short of Toutant’s score, McMorris pulled off a Cab 1260 double cork and a backside triple cork which landed him with silver. With Run 3 open, Peetu Piiroinen secured the bronze medal.
Top qualifier of Thursday’s elimination, Torstein Horgmo had a misfortunate ankle injury in Run 2 after going a little too big on a triple cork attempt and falling deep in the landing zone which almost appeared to be a quad flip. Horgmo’s over-extended triple cork attempt opened the doors for the potential progression of snowboarding.
Horgmo told X Games, “My foot is not stoked right now,” Horgmo said, icing his ankle from the top of the course.
Yet, Horgmo remains wary of the quad flip and replied to X Games, “We don’t really want our sport going in that direction. We want to keep it mellow and how it used to be, which wasn’t a sport, it was having fun with your buddies. We want to keep the style in (contests) and leave the quad corks for the skiers.”
1. Sebastian Toutant – 95.00
2. Mark McMorris – 94.00
3. Peetu Piiroinen – 82.00
4. Eric Willett – 80.66
5. Sage Kotsenburg – 79.33
6. Gjermund Braaten – 75.00
7. Torstein Horgmo – 36.00
8. Ståle Sandbech – 23.00