On her 10th time at bat, Spencer O’Brien finally won her first X Games slopestyle gold in a closely-fought contest in Aspen.
Prior to the start of the event, the commentators were painting this as a head-to-head battle between threepeat-seeking-missile Silje Norendal and Olympic champ Jamie Anderson. This didn’t make a lot of sense when you considered that both were returning from injury, but even less so once Hayley Langland got on the course. Still only 15, the rookie brought buckets of style to both her rail tricks and airs, and for a while looked like the rider to beat.
Her fellow X debutant Katie Ormerod dealt with first-to-drop pressure admirably, putting down a solid first run. She may not have spun more than 540, but the marker had been set. On her following two runs she stepped it up and went for broke – which is always good to see – but today just wasn’t her day. After a sketchy landing on a backside 720 she was forced to write off the last two jumps of her final run, and that was all she wrote. Katie will be back, though.
From the newbies to a veteran, Cheryl Maas is no stranger to this event. On the first jump she unveiled a switch backside 900, albeit couldn’t hold a full run together and remains medal-less at X. Likewise Christy Prior‘s usual style was in effect, and her first run set her up well, but none of her trio was good enough to earn a medal. Klaudia Medlova took a bold roll of the dice with a double backside rodeo off the final jump, but she couldn’t put it down and had to settle for 7th.