X Games | Nate Holland, Jamie Anderson on podium in Aspen
ASPEN, Colo. — Squaw Valley snowboarder Nate Holland navigated carnage to earn a bronze medal in the X Games men’s snowboardcross final on Thursday.
Six competitors earned spots in the final after an intense day of qualifying and semifinal runs. The international field had snowboarders representing Germany, Canada, Austria, Italy and the United States —Holland and Nick Baumgartner.
Immediately out of the start gate, Canada’s Kevin Hill took a lead that he only increased throughout the race. Behind Hill, a tight pack of five racers jostled and jockeyed for the two remaining spots on the podium.
The pack got tangled up midway through the course, but X Games rookie Omar Visintin of Italy and Holland successfully avoided the wreckage, with Visintin taking silver and Holland bronze. It was Holland’s 10th career X Games medal.
“This wasn’t your typical X Games course,” Holland said. “It was a little tighter and with six guys riding fast I knew there was going to be chaos. It was a stone-cold bar brawl in there and I knew it would be … I had so much fun. I never expected to win gold. I am just pumped to medal. And, Kevin Hill rode like a maniac today.”
On the women’s side, American Lindsey Jacobellis made an aggressive pass early in the final heat to overtake Canada’s Dominique Maltais for gold.
Jacobellis squealed in delight as she crossed the finish line in first place for the ninth time, proving again that she’s the most dominant female snowboardcross competitor of all time. Rounding out the podium were Maltais and Nelly Moenne Loccoz in third.
“I just tried to slow things down and look for passing opportunities,” Jacobellis said. “I did not win the start and had to go with what I had in front of me and try to stay out of traffic.”
Jamie Anderson earns silver
On a sunny final day of competition Sunday, Canada’s Mark McMorris won gold in the men’s snowboard slopestyle — following up his win in the big air Friday — while Jamie Anderson of South Lake Tahoe took silver behind Norway’s Silje Norendal in the women’s slopestyle.
Anderson’s first two runs went well, giving her a solid foundation of scores to build upon. However, she crashed on her final lap of the course and finished with a final score of 91.33 to Norendal’s 93.66. Christy Prior (89.33) of New Zealand was third.
“I wanted to land that third run but I didn’t even make it to the last jump to try a 900,” said Anderson, who earned her 10th career X Games medal. “That’s how it is in competitive snowboarding: Some days are on point and some days aren’t. Today I was feeling really good, but I had a super gnarly slam that shook me up. But I’m happy I’m OK and I am so stoked to get a silver medal.”
Anderson was the only American in the final.
David Wise finishes short of four-peat
The X Games officially wrapped up Sunday afternoon with the men’s ski superpipe, in which Northstar California-sponsored Olympian David Wise placed fourth.
Canada’s Simon d’Artois won gold in dramatic fashion, Kevin Rolland of France took silver and hometown hero Alex Ferreira grabbed bronze.
The caliber of skiing was incredible, as d’Artois — who recorded the biggest air with a 21-foot double cork 1260 — stomped all three of his runs but still needed his final attempt to solidify the gold medal. His score of 93 edged Rolland’s 92.33 and Ferreira’s 91.66. Wise, who had won three consecutive X Games gold medals entering the contest, scored an 89.
“This is going to be a good year for me,” Wise said. “It’s really nice to do a couple of high-level events, enjoy skiing and spend the rest of the time with my family … This is the biggest contest of the year for us, which is why we throw it all on the line.”
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