Winter X Games 16 has reached its halfway point with two days of competition in the bag, and Red Bull athletes have earned a total of five medals so far, including three golds.
Kaya Turski kicked things off by winning her third consecutive WXG Ski Slopestyle event on Thursday, landing the first switch 1080 by a woman in the event’s history at WXG. Turski had become the first female skier to land the trick in competition in April 2011 at a contest in Austria.
Turski was actually trailing Devin Logan going into her final run, so she upped the switch 900s that closed her first two runs to the 1080.
"My first two runs weren't as clean as I wanted them to be, so I just decided to go for the 10," she said. "It didn't hurt that I was sitting in third place already so I had a medal. That kind of eased it and I just went for it."
Winter X Games rookie Forest Bailey (pictured above with Ryan Sheckler) made his debut count, although he wasn’t exactly stressing about stepping onto such a big stage. He missed Wednesday’s practice session and showed up to Thursday’s event with only an hour to master the course, which consisted of urban features like a shipping container and various handrails and ledges.
Bailey, who had been riding powder at Mt. Baker for the preceding two weeks, adapted well to the course, obviously, ending the event with a gold medal around his neck.
"It was probably one of the best rail set-ups I've ever ridden," he said. "It was mellow, not super gnarly or super scary, just really fun so everyone could throw down their best tricks. It was weird coming from Baker, where no one was around, to this kind of crowd. Everyone was killing it. It was a great contest."
Friday brought more action, and with it three more Snowboarding medals for Red Bull athletes. Defending Slopestyle champ Enni Rukajärvi wasn’t able to stop Jamie Anderson from landing in the top spot, but Enni took silver with a barrage of backside spins.
Snowboard Big Air closed the day, with Mark McMorris, Sebastien Toutant and Seppe Smits all making the cut to the five-man Final. In fact, the three riders sat in podium sweep position for most of the event until Smits was pushed out of the top three in the final minutes.
McMorris was the star of the night, landing a backside triple cork 1440 to run away with the gold medal. It was the first triple cork landed in competition, and it came on the heels of Mark's first-place finish in Slopestyle Elimination earlier in the day. Mark’s good friend Sebastien Toutant was consistent all night, landing frontside and Cab double cork 1080s to seal up the bronze.
There are still two full days left at WXG 16, with plenty of banger events still to come. It all wraps up on Sunday with Louie Vito, Iouri Podladtchikov and Greg Bretz battling in Snowboard SuperPipe, so keep it tuned to ESPN and our X Games Central page for all the highlights.
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