It seems like the Chinese can do anything these days. As if gunpowder, silk, the zodiac and paper wasn't enough, China now own weather. The Nanshan Ski Resort is made up entirely of manufactured snow and if it's good enough to attract Shaun White and the Air & Style crew over, then Nanshan wants a go on the swings too.
White's recent visits over to China have sparked a nationwide interest in snow sports. The media have covered his tour of China with mixed levels of mockery and bumlickery (check out our appraisal of CNN's coverage here). Let's not forget the first Ski resort only opened in 1996. It's a very young sport. China's biggest resort, Yabuli, has snowfall but not in abundance, so snow is often manufactured to keep the growing buzz alive. The buzz is definitely there though, and there was a big turn out to watch Finnish Janne Korpi take the title on Sunday.
It was Swedish wonder boy Anton Bilare who went into the finals looking to nick the win. In fact, Bilare pulled out the best tricks on the day. A front 1080 double cork (pictured below) followed by a front-7 late cork was the only double that the crowds were treated to. He earned the highest scoring single run of the event and if the event wasn't judged on the best two out of three runs, he would have been back on top.
It was Korpi's consistency and number of cards up his sleeve that allowed him to stay in front, taking out 900's on all four of his runs, as well as a 360-off on the down-rail and front flipping up the mini step-up. Insane. Here's his winning run:
Bilare's attempts at pulling back an overall win were great but not quite enough. His frontside 5 off the first kicker followed by a cab 900 off the second were impressive, but a close judging call meant he unfortunately missed out on the top spot. In terms of local talent, 20-year-old He Wei impressed the crowds with his frontside 720 to frontside rodeo, giving him 8th place overall: 'It was such a good feeling riding today with these guys... I'm stoked!'
Anton's 2nd place run:
9th Redbull Nanshan Open Results:
1. (FIN) Janne Korpi - Kissmark, Oneill, Smith
2. (SWE) Anton Bilare - Nitro, Rip Curl, Skullcandy
3. (RUS) Sergey Lapushkin - DC, Flux, Spy
4. (NOR) Knut Eliassen - Nitro, Raiden
5. (FIN) Juuso Laivisto - Red Bull, Ride, Volcom
6. (JPN) Teddy Koo - Ride, Electric
7. (NZL) Nick Brown - Burton, RPM
8. (PRC) He Wei - Red Bull, Burton
9. (SWE) Nils Arvidsson - Nitro, Ripcurl
10. (FIN) Risto Mattila - Drake, Northwave