X Games 2013 Tignes – Women’s Slopestyle Finals – Live Blog

Silje Norendaal in practise this morning.

So that’s a wrap. Here’s the podium for you.

1st Silj Norendaal
2nd Jamie Anderson
3rd Kjersti Buaas.

They’ve cut away from the course and they’re showing a bizarre dancing robot waving a “Vive Les X Games” flag. OK so I know we can’t talk after those weird one-eyed-monster mascots at the London Olympics, but seriously, that’s pretty odd. Ah that’s better, they’re back to the winner’s portraits. Actually they’re a bit odd too – somehow they’ve contrived to make Silje look a bit weird and stare-y, and definitely less hot than she does in real life. But I’m sure she doesn’t give two shits, cos she’s just won herself a nice big nugget of gold and a cool $30,000. Not bad for a few days’ work eh?

It’s hugs all round at the bottom of the course. There’s Sina hugging Silje, there’s Kjersti hugging Silje, there’s Silje’s team manager Jon Weaver hugging Silje’s mum… And there’s Silje sorting her hair out for the post-match interview. The tears are gone, she’s all smiles now. And why not, she’s just won her first X Games gold! And what a way to win it too – a full 8 points ahead of second place. No-one out there could touch her today.

Silje must be shitting it right now. Jamie’s not, she’s grooving to her tunes, stretching a bit and smiling for the camera. Maybe she knows something we don’t? She drops in and… hot dang her rails are good, gap 270 on the first rail? Sick! The first kicker’s that same front 7 tail grab. Nice, the second is a back five and the third… she’s scrubbing speed. It’s a switch back… 5. Oooh and she basically knuckled that. She holds on though, but that’s not going to improve on her 85. Maybe she would’ve spun more with more speed? We’ll never know. But does it matter? Cos right now, it’s all about Silje – she’s won!

Sarka drops in, but can’t hold it together. Only Jamie Anderson can spoil the Norwegians’ party now!

Here’s Spencer to shake things up though. Cummon Spence, we’ve got our reputation as podium predicters riding on this run! Damn that gap to front board is steezy! And there’s her switch back five, back 7 and front sev… ah, neither were super-clean. And then she loses concentration and nearly – so nearly – falls on the final rail. Her hand’s up by her mouth, she knows that was close! And yeah, she’s not going to improve on her first run with that.

Enni’s got a chance to answer straight back though. What’ll she give us? Ah damn, she falls. So Kjersti’s sitting pretty… for now.

Kjersti “Steeze Louise” Buaas is dropping now. She hasn’t landed one yet so she probably won’t be going mental… but she’s definitely stepping it up. Front 3 out on the first rail! There’s her front 7, that was clean. There’s the first 5, and there’s the switch back 5 to finish… solid! Yep, that was a sick run. Silje runs up to congratulate her, and boom – she’s knocked Enni off third place. Fair play!

The first pretender to her throne is Sina. Will she nail that front 10? And if so, will it be enough? In the end we don’t get to find out because she goes for a 9 on the final kicker instead, and doesn’t land it.

Talking of wonderwoman, here she is on course again. Surely she can’t improve on that last run? No, she can’t she falls on the rails, and rides straight for the rest of the run. Now she’ll have to play the waiting game…

Aimee’s final run! Come on Fuller. There’s the rails. There’s the underflip. There’s the back 3, much more in control this time. And there’s the double backflip… yes! She stomps it. That’s gotta be a solid score. 73? Ah that’s slightly disappointing. Fifth place. To be fair, in any normal comp that would put her on the podium but this ain’t exactly a normal comp – not with Norwegian wonderwoman Norendaal rampaging around! Still Aimee looks stoked to have landed her best run. Nice one!

There’s a break between runs, so the cameras focus on Silje. And then on some equally hot chick in the crowd. Well, the men behind them are French…

Now what’s Jamie going to do here? She’s got to come up with something that’ll beat Silje, but her run starts the same as the previous one. Not much point to that surely, the last one was perfect…? Ah, there it is. Rather than go for a switch back 5 on the final kicker, she tries a cab 7. Yeeeeah…noooo! Damn, that was so close. Two 7s and a five? If she lands that it’ll be interesting to see what the judges have to say.

Sarka’s first run wasn’t perfect, but she’s obviously realised that with the other ladies getting their 10s out of the closets, this is no time for a re-run. Instead, she opts to step things up, going for a front 9 on the second kicker. She lands almost 810 degrees but somehow manages to hold onto it by the skin of her teeth. The effort costs her though and she misses the last kicker. That’s not gonna help her score. She looks stoked when she gets to the bottom though. Our guess is she’ll try that one again in her third run.

If Enni’s back to her old self though, Spencer is still struggling. That gap to front board is as stylish as ever but her second kicker (the back seven) is all wrong here. She goes down, and she won’t improve.

THAT’S the Enni Rukajarvi we know and love. She stomps that run cleanly, and earns her self a highly respectable 80 points. That’s third place, and she’ll have a chance to go one better on her third run.

It’s Kjersti’s turn, and she starts well, with back to back fives. She goes about twice as big as most of the other riders too. But on her third kicker she seriously misjudges the take off… ouch! She does what the French call “the prawn” in the air (think waving tentacles) and lands heavily on her back. She’s not hurt though and Jenny Jones is there at the bottom to offer consolation. And no, that’s not being a traitor cos they’re all mates here.

The unenviable task of following that run falls to Sina Candrian. In fairness, it doesn’t look like it’s phased her much – she goes for a front 10 on the second kicker. Yep, 10! She doesn;’t land it, but still. This is getting very interesting…

Silje’s dropping in again. How’s she gonna improve on that 90? Wow. Like that! She rocks up to the rails switch, cool as a cucumber and then hits the kickers with a front five, switch back five combo, before landing the knockout blow with that front rodeo 7 of hers. The judges are left reeling, and give her a 93! She’s got to be on the podium at the very least with that score. Her mum knows it, and the camera zooms in on her jumping around for joy, before panning back to Silje who’s crying tears of joy!

Aimee Fuller’s up again. She’s been hanging around with Jenny Jones and Henry Jackson at the bottom of the course – have they been dispensing advice? If they have, it looks like it’s worked, at least initially. Her cab underflip is spot on. The back three is a bit wild, but she holds onto it, then launches into a DOUBLE BACKFLIP! Oh no, she can’t hold onto the landing. Damn. But there’s still one more run for Aimee, and if she gets that down she’ll surely improve her score.

The last rider to drop is Jamie Anderson, and ESPN are just reminding us that she’s a two time (and currently reigning) champion. We weren’t 100 per cent sure she’d be riding today as she looked a little nervy in practise. We actually saw her riding the public lift and shredding the piste just before the comp started – trying to shake some nerves or a lingering injury perhaps?
Well whatever she did, it obviously worked because she comes out of the gate all guns blazing. Massive 270 gap to boardslide and then 7, back 5, switch back 5 on the kickers. Jamie just oozes steeze, especially on the rails. Surely that’s gotta score highly, but will it be enough to beat Silje? Oooh no! The judges have only given her 85. Wow, we’re gonna have a battle on our hands here people.

The penultimate rider is Sarka Pancochova. She kicks things off with a steezy cab underflip, and then goes for a back 7, but it looks like she’s left her stomping legs at home – that was sketchy.

On the strength of her practise runs, we’d say Spencer O’Brien has a pretty good chance here today. She was getting switch back 5 into back 7 into front 7 on the kickers. And she does just that here, rounding it off with a steezy gap to front board. But while her front sev is perfect (with a truckdriver grab too – how rad is that?!) she puts a hand down on the back 7. It counts against her and the judges only give her 78. If she can stick that run though, she’ll be challenging Silje at the top…

Enni Rukajarvi drops in. Usually Enni can be counted on to stomp everything she tries. Like a female equivalent of Peetu “I never fall” Piiroinen. But she looks nervous today, and falls on her second kicker.

Kjersti Buaas is one of the steeziest riders – male or female – ever to step on a snowboard. In practise this morning she was banging out sweet late BS180s over the second kicker. But style alone won’t get her on the podium unfortunately. She knows that of course, and goes for a big 540… Too big. Damn. She sails way down the landing and arse checks. Two more runs to go though.

Sina Candrian dropping in now. Anyone’s a contender really today, and Sina’s no exception. A nice big seven and some solid (if unremarkable) rail riding puts her ahead of Fuller with a score of 70. Looks like the standard is gonna be higher than Cheech and Chong today.

Next up is Norwegian miss Silje Norendaal. Now we know she’s got a damn fine frontside rodeo (or todeo) 7. Will she be getting it out for the judges today? Yes, it appears she will. Switch back five on the kicker before as well. Holy shit that was a good run! She posts a 90 on the board and cracks a photogenic smile for the cameras. No wonder, it’ll be hard to knock her off that top spot I reckon…

First up is our very own Aimee Fuller! Come on Aimee. And yep, after a slightly shaky start on the rails, she pulls it together on the kickers putting down cab underflip, back three and backflip. It’s not perfect, but that’ll do. 61.66 and she’s in first place! Ok so she’s the only rider to have dropped but still!

Welcome to this afternoon’s live blog – we’ll be bringing you all the action from the women’s slopestyle finals in Tignes. With no qualifiers, all 8 invited riders will be shredding. All were looking good in this morning’s practise, let’s hope they can put their runs down again this afternoon. Having just come off the hill and run panting into the media room, we haven;t had time to think too much about predictions, but on the strength of what we’ve just seen I reckon Spencer O’Brien might snatch this one away from reigning champ Jamie Anderson.


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