A lot went on during the fourth and final day of the 13th annual Winter X Games on Sunday. In fact, six events held their finals from 2-6 PM and 9-11 PM. The men's Ski Slopestyle elimination and final took place, kicking off the last day of WXG until next year's games. Eight of the 16 hopefuls made the last cut before the finals and the most notable rider that missed that final cut happened to be a man by the name of Simon Dumont--who finished 14th with a best of 65.00.
In the finals, my personal favorite--Charles Gagnier--finished with three disastrous runs (70.00, 72.00 and a zero). The top qualifier, Colby West, won the Bronze with a 90.00 in his third and final run. Sammy Carlson's 91.00 gave him the Silver and TJ Schiller won the Gold with a 93.00. The Gold was Schiller's first in the Ski slopestyle category for the 21-year old.
Tyler Walker pulled away with the Gold in the Mono SkierX final, finishing first of the four riders. FYI: Obviously, Mono SkierX is an event where riders have just one ski, so it's much more difficult to keep you balance going 60-70 MPH down a snowy, icy hill. Sounds pretty tough to me, congratulations to Tyler Walker.
The men's SkierX competition was really all that special, Stanley Hayer finished first of the six riders in the final, taking Gold, while Hiroomi Takizawa and Andreas Steffen took hom Silver and Bronze. But, the women's SkierX was a whole different story. The 31-year old France native, Ophelie David, took home the Gold, completing the four-peat in the event.
The Snowmobile Freestyle event seemed to be one of the favorites during day four's action. The final elimination round eliminated six of the remaining ten and, surprisingly, Chris Burandt and Levi LaVallee were two of the six to say good-bye to Aspen. Being the final Snowmobile event of WXG 13, LaVallee and Burandt had to say good-bye to the Gold medal in the freestyle event after LaVallee finished fifth--just one spot away from advancing--and Burnandt finished in dead-last with a 64.66 score in his first of two runs (his second was a disastrous 43.66). Justin Hoyer (91.33) was the top scorer and qualifier, while Joe Parsons (89.66), Heath Frisby (89.66) and Daniel Bodin (85.66) weren't far behind.
In the end, it was Hoyer over Bodin (91.66 to 87.33) and Parsons over Frisby (93.33 to 93.00)--by the slimest of margins--in the first round of the finals. Bodin fell again to Heath Frisby, 90.66 to 88.00, in the Bronze match. So, Frisby wins the Bronze and, in the Gold medal match Joe Parsons won his second Gold medal in WXG 13 by defeating Hoyer easily, 93.66 to 82.00.
Whew! Glad I got all that out of the way, because here comes the main, main event of the evening. Shaun White--the Flying tomato, the phenom, the fan favorite, whatever you want to call him!--was competing for his 9th career WXG Gold medal in the final event of 2009, the men's snowboard Superpipe finals..under the lights, no less. Each of the eight riders will get two runs to show the judges their stuff in this competition, just like most of the others (although some actually get three runs). Shaun White got off to a terrible start, accumulating a score of 63.66 in his first run, putting him far down the list of riders--sixth to be exact, just in front of Louie Vito and Hannah Teter's brother, Elijah.
Things weren't looking good for the shaggy-haired, 22-year old from California. Fellow rider, Kevin Pearce put on a show in his second run and posted a score of 90.66. But, White performed in the clutch once again, edging out Pearce in his final run with a 91.66. On this night, White once again proved why he is the greatest snowboarder out there, and without a doubt in the history of the X Games. Oh, and did I mention this guy skateboards in the Summer X Games.
There you have it, White dominates the WXG once again, going two for two in his events and possibly overshadowing Levi LaVallee's double backflip attempt back on Friday--which he was inches away from cleanly landing, by the way.
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