13/02/2014 | by Sam McMahon
Shaun White managed to eat shit, come dead last, then win a whole separate event and qualify for the US Olympic slopestyle team, all in one day. Whatever esteem you hold him in, you have to admit he’s quite good at grabbing the headlines.
After the cancelling of the Breckenridge Grand Prix finals, whoever’s in charge of these confusing shambles agreed to let only the US riders who qualified hold the finals from last weekend yesterday in Mammoth, as well as the Mammoth Grand Prix finals. On the same day. With the same riders.
This not only resulted in the tedium of watching the riders try the same runs on the same course twice like a two hour bout of deja vu, but also ended up with Shauny Boy (he won’t let us call him the Flying Tomato anymore) bizarrely managing to out-Helgason the Helgasons themselves by not only placing both first and dead last but seemingly doing it in the same competition.
In his losing run he had a beaut of a scorpion coming out of a cab double 12 ending with him sitting alone in the landing for five minutes like a lost puppy in a snow park. In a week after a particularly scathing piece about him in the NY Times came out (link above) sympathy for Mr White appears to be at an all time low; even the event photographers appear pretty non-plussed by his stack and it looks like someone chucks a snowball at him 15 seconds into the video below:
Luckily for fans of the Tomohawking Tangerine he came back and won the afternoon’s event with the same run he tried to put down in the morning; cab hardway 450 of the toes complete with both hands raised in the air, front 270 over the gap, frontside zeach to fakie into a switch back 10, cab dub 12 and back dub 10. This was enough to win the event on his first (third?) run and qualify in first position for Sochi 2014. Yay!
Also, there were some other non-ginger snowboarders there: Chas Guldemond came third in the first final which secured his well-deserved team place, under-our-radar Ryan Stassel won the first without going upside down once and Sage Kotsenburg placed second in both which puts them through in third and fourth place respectively unless either Brandon Davis or Kyle Mack win yet another Mammoth Grand Prix that’s on later this weekend. Apparently, we’re too confused by everything to make any sense of it.
Jamie Anderson was probably our favourite from this event, winning both the women’s events. Not only did she mix up her runs thus teaching the men a lesson in showmanship, she also managed to fit in a cheeky wardrobe change between the events which helped us distinguish the comps. She also always looks like she’s having just the best time, we salute that!
That means she’s also qualified for the US Sochi team, so someone will be having fun there. A second place in the first comp put Ty Walker through as well, and as far as we can tell Jessica Jenson and Jordie Karlinski will join them unless Karly Shorr podiums above them in the final event.
So that’s all the news from the US, we hope you’re not as confused as we are!