Jamie Anderson (center) celebrates her big air win alongside Enni Rukajarvi (FIN) in second and Klaudia Medlova (SVK) in third.
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Dec. 17, 2016) – American snowboarders found more success at the final event of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix weekend: the Team USA Winter Champions Series big air. Jamie Anderson (South Lake Tahoe, CA) landed the win for the women and Ryan Stassel (Anchorage, AK) took third for the men.
Ryan Stassel found the podium in third place. (U.S. Snowboarding)
It was the defending Olympic slopestyle champion’s trademark smooth style that earned Anderson the win on Saturday. With the best two of three jumps scored, Anderson started with a switch backside 540 and followed up with a Cab 720. Julia Marino (Westport, CT), who won the scaffolding big air event at Fenway Park in February, finished fourth with a double cork 900 and a backflip. Enni Rukajarvi of Finland was second and Klaudia Medlova of Slovakia, who landed the first double cork 1080 in competition, was third.
Stassel outrode serious competition on the big air jump, putting down a frontside 1440 and a switch backside double 1260. Conditions deteriorated as the contest went on, with flat light making it very difficult for riders to spot their landings. Sitting in second place after his third run, Stassel had to watch multiple riders take their runs before he was assured a podium position. “I put down two runs and the scores weren’t the highest,” Stassel said. “So when it came down to the third one, it was really a nail biter. I was just waiting it out and I was able to hold on.” The dominant Canadian jumpers topped the podium—Max Parrot in first and Sebastien Toutant in second.
The U.S. Grand Prix/World Cup big air event was part of the Team USA Winter Champions Series. The event aired live on NBC alongside two other Olympic sport events—luge and ice hockey. Big air will make its Olympic debut at PyeongChang, South Korea in 2018.
Jamie Anderson rode to first. (U.S. Snowboarding)
Other Americans in the final: Nik Baden (Steamboat Springs, CO) was seventh; Eric Willett (Breckenridge, CO) was eighth; Chris Corning (Silverthorne, CO) was 10th.
Jamie Anderson won. Her best two runs scored 151.25: switch backside 540 and Cab 720
Ryan Stassel was third. His best two runs scored 167.50: frontside 1440 and switch backside double 1260
Jamie Anderson I really wanted to go frontside 1080, but I was having a bit of struggle with my frontside spins so I decided to go Cab 720 tail and switch backside 540 because they’re fun and I like them. I’m so happy. I’m so grateful—it was really fun. All the girls absolutely killed it; we saw a frontside double 1080, Cab 1080—everyone is really charging. I had a really fun time. Copper is sick.
Ryan Stassel I’m feeling great. I put down two runs and the scores weren’t the highest so when it came down to the third one it was really a nail biter. I was just waiting it out and I was able to hold on.
Julia Marino I’m so excited (to see big air in the Olympics). It’s cool to see more snowboarding events in the Olympics—it gets more recognition and improves the sport. I’m super excited about it.