The action continued during day three of competition at Winter X Games 15 in Aspen, Colorado, still blessed with some of the best weather imaginable. Saturday’s events brought more hardware for Red Bull athletes, with Russ Henshaw and Bobby Brown both pulling down silver medals.
The day started on a bit of a sour note in women’s SuperPipe Elimination, with the Czech Republic’s Sarka Pancochova going down in her run and suffering a broken collarbone and a concussion. She had surgery later in the day and is recovering, so send some positive vibes her way and she’ll be back shredding the snow in no time.
Henshaw Shreds Slopestyle
Things picked up in the Ski Slopestyle Final, where Elias Ambühl, Russ Henshaw and Bobby Brown met up with five other skiers on the insane WXG course to see who could throw down the best runs combining the rail and jump features. Defending gold medalist Brown threw out a high score right off the bat, dropping his switch double misty 1260 mute grab as he had in 2010, along with a double rodeo 900 and a rightside double cork 1260 mute grab.
Top qualifier Henshaw shined on his first run as well, scoring slightly higher with left and rightside double cork 1260s and a switch leftside double cork 900. Sammy Carlson landed above Henshaw and Brown, and the three led the standings throughout most of the contest.
As the light faded, most skiers had trouble navigating the shadows and couldn’t top their first runs, or in many cases even complete a clean pass through the course on runs 2 and 3. Podium spots for Henshaw and Brown looked like a lock until Andreas Hatveit took his final run, nudging into the bronze medal position. Henshaw would pick up the silver, his first WXG medal, with Brown in fourth and Ambühl finishing sixth.
Brown, who was a little beat up coming into WXG from recent crashes, then turned his focus to the Big Air event, where he was also the defending gold medalist. Henshaw and Ambühl joined him on the roster, but Henshaw went down in practice attempting a switch triple rodeo and decided to pull out of the event at the last minute.
Ambühl fired out of the gate in his qualifying heat, earning the top score in his five-man jam session with a barrage of clean, technical moves. Brown also transferred to the final, but he was clearly not riding to his own high standards. He was much stronger in the final, landing the switch double misty 1440 mute grab that helped him earn gold in 2010. After a stellar performance from rookie Alex Schlopy that included a double cork 1620, Brown would walk away with silver and Ambühl would land just off the podium in fourth place.
Winter X Games 15 wraps up on Sunday with a slew of banger events, not the least of which is the Snowboard SuperPipe final featuring Shaun White. Shaun’s looking for his fourth consecutive win in the WXG pipe; he already holds five gold medals in the discipline, with another five in his trophy case for Slopestyle. The man is an animal in the pipe, and he’s set to close yet another WXG on top of the podium.
Sunday’s WXG Events
- Snowboard Slopestyle Women Final (Enni Rukajärvi)
- Snowboard Slopestyle Men Final (Sebastien Toutant, Mark McMorris)
- Snowboard SuperPipe Final (Shaun White)
- Skier X (Daron Rahlves, Tomas Kraus)
- Snowmobile Best Trick (Daniel Bodin)
Check the broadcast schedule to catch all of the Winter X action.
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