Chloe Kim and Chase Josey swept the halfpipe competition at the 2017 LAAX Open Saturday. (FIS-Miha Matavz)
LAAX, Switzerland (Jan. 21, 2017) – With perfect weather in a perfect halfpipe, Americans dominated the LAAX Open on Saturday, which also served as a stop on the FIS World Cup tour for the first time in 2017. Chloe Kim (Torrance, CA) and Chase Josey (Hailey, ID) earned the wins for the women and men respectively, while LAAX Open 2016 winner Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) was second for the ladies.
After also winning the season opener at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain in December, Kim made it back-to-back World Cup wins by taking top honors in LAAX. She now leads the FIS halfpipe rankings, and isn’t expected to slip from the top anytime soon—Kim is absolutely dominating the competition; she used a run to win at Laax that was almost exclusively switch, featuring only one frontside spin and it was a 1080. “I'm so stoked that I was able to put down some good runs today,” Kim said of her win. “I couldn't be any happier.”
Women’s LAAX Open podium with American’s Arielle Gold (left) and Chloe Kim, and China’s Xuetong Cai. (FIS-Miha Matavz)
Gold had an impressive showing, and looks to build upon the excellent results she gathered throughout the 2016 season. The two American ladies were joined on the podium by Xuetong Cai of China, who was third.
Chase Josey took the win. (FIS-Miha Matavz)
It was a huge win for Idaho rider Josey, who claimed his first World Cup victory with a run that included five consecutive doubles—two being back-to-back switch doubles. He received an enormous score for the run—97.75. “My third run was just full throttle,” Josey said after the comp. “I just went for it. I gave it everything I had and I was fortunate to land it. It worked out for me today.” Having also earned a podium at the Copper Toyota U.S. Grand Prix with a third-place finish, Josey now leads the FIS points list for halfpipe.
Joining Josey on the podium on Saturday were Australia’s Scotty James and reigning Olympic halfpipe champion Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland.
Men’s LAAX Open podium with Austrailia’s Scotty James (left), American winner Chase Josey and Swiss Iouri Podladtchikov. (FIS-Miha Matavz)
Americans accounted for half of the 18 available spots in the halfpipe final: Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) was fourth; Ben Ferguson (Bend, OR) was fifth; Matt Ladley (Steamboat Springs, CO) was seventh; Greg Bretz (Mammoth Lakes, CA) was ninth; Jake Pates (Eagle, CO) was 10th and Gabe Ferguson (Bend, OR) was 11th.
Chloe Kim competes at LAAX. (FIS-Miha Matavz)
Up next for the U.S. Snowboarding athletes is X Games Aspen Jan. 26-29, where invited riders will compete in big air, halfpipe and slopestyle. Most events will be broadcast live on ESPN.
U.S. Snowboarding pro halfpipe team member Chloe Kim was first. Her second run scored 90.50: frontside 1080 tail, Cab 540 stalefish; switch backside 540 mute, Cab 720 stalefish.
U.S. Snowboarding pro halfpipe team member Chase Josey was first. His third run scored 97.75: frontside double cork 1080 stalefish, switch double crippler indy, switch double Michalchuk melon, Cab double cork 1080 mute.
U.S. Snowboarding pro halfpipe team member Arielle Gold was second. Her third run scored 86.50.
QUOTES Chloe Kim I'm so stoked that I was able to put down some good runs today. I couldn't be any happier.
I was really excited about my victory lap but obviously I wanted to do better than in my second run but unfortunately I fell on the 1080. But you know, I'm just trying to beat myself in every possible way.
Chase Josey Winner of the LAAX Open 2017 sounds pretty special. It's so cool. I dreamed of it; I'm so stoked. My third run was just full throttle. I just went for it. I gave it everything I had, and I was fortunate to land it. It worked out for me today.
Arielle Gold I'm super excited. I had a bit of a rough practice; I only landed one run. So being able to put down my third run means a lot to me, especially after falling in my first two runs. The fact that it put me into second was the icing on the cake.
During finals, I just wanted to go big and put down a good run. This pipe is perfect, and it caters to going big. So I’ve been enjoying putting on a good show.”