X Games Aspen 2013 is officially over, thus bringing an end to the first North American 6Star event on the World Snowboard Tour. Record crowds flocked to the town of Aspen, Colorado to see the high-paced action over the last week, but nothing drew more spectators than the games pinnacle event; Men’s snowboard halfpipe.
Crowd Favorite Shaun White who earlier this week placed fifth in Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle redeemed himself by winning his sixth consecutive X Games Gold Medal in halfpipe. His signature backside air on his first hit boosted an awe inspiring 24-foot 1 inches out of the pipe, breaking his own record by a foot. His next hits were back-to-back double 1080s into a cork 5 followed by a double Mctwist 1260 and finished off with a frontside double 1260. This run scored him a near perfect 98 points.
Shortly before the competition, Swiss snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov pulled out due to illness. Podladtchikov won qualifications and may have been White’s biggest threat in tonight’s competition. “He texted me and apologized before the event.” White said about Podladtchikov’s absence. “I know how hard it is to have to drop out, I like riding with Iouri. He pushes me.” He added.
Although the Swiss threat was unavailable to compete against White,14 year old X Games rookie Ayumu Hirano won silver with a 92.33. The Japanese native impressed the judges with huge amplitude and his smooth front and cab 1080’s. Hirano completed front and back 900’s then finished his run with his only double; a double cork 1080.
Hirano is the youngest person to ever win a winter X Games medal. “this was my first X games, and I am just here to have fun” Hirano replied to a question about his experience here in aspen.
Rounding off the podium was Finland’s Markus Malin who was not far behind with a score of 91.33. Malin landed a double Mctwist 1260, the same trick that was first seen from White before the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
“6 Years, it’s crazy” White said about his 6th gold medal in a row, “It feels good, I don’t think I have ever been more focused or in tune of what I’m doing, I will probably more uncomfortable when I’m going for my seventh” he joked.
Now that the 6Star rated X Games has come to an end, riders will be heading to Park City to compete in the 5Star Sprint US Grand Prix where they will be able to collect valuable World Snowboard Tour points and Olympic qualifying points at the same event.
1. Shaun White 814 Carlsbad, CA 98.00
2. Ayumu Hirano 826 Murakami, JPN 92.33
3. Markus Malin 832 Lahti, FIN 91.33
4. Scotty Lago 831 Seabrook, NH 90.00
5. Greg Bretz 839 Mammoth Lake, CA 84.66
6. Louie Vito 835 Bellefontaine, OH 73.33
7. Christian Haller 825 Zernez, SUI 36.66