Jacobellis wins 10th X Games gold
January 31, 2016
ASPEN — Lindsey Jacobellis — one more time.
By an eyelash.
Jacobellis, the most decorated snowboarder in Winter X Games history, added gold medal No. 10 on Sunday afternoon at a snowy Buttermilk Mountain.
She earned her historic gold courtesy of a photo finish as she just nipped Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic at the finish line of the boarder X course on Jacob's Ladder.
After a nervous review, Jacobellis was awarded the gold with Samkova taking the silver medal, who also won silver in Aspen in 2014.
"It was really hard to see … the terrain," Jacobellis said of the flat light conditions Sunday afternoon.
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She made a late pass, taking a daring inside line that no one had yet to use on a big banked turn.
"I had to go for that inside line," she said, from Stratton, Vermont.
And the inside line led to the lead and the gold medal.
The bronze medal Sunday went to Nelly Moenne Loccoz of France.
The men's snowboarder X came down to a nearly identical photo finish.
Australia's Jarryd Hughes, who won his quarterfinal and semifinal heats, also won in the final, just edging countryman Alex Pullin as chants of "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie" echoed around the finish corral.
"All I could think about was winning gold here (at the Winter X Games in Aspen)," Hughes said as he celebrated his gold medal. "It was a tight race. Everyone was kicking it."
He said the accumulating snow added to the challenge in the elimination races of snowboarder X.
The bronze medal for 2016 went to German Konstantin Schad.
Breck's Bobby Brown 2nd in snowy big air
Winter X Games rookie Fabian Boesch of Switzerland won a ski big air duel with Bobby Brown of Breckenridge under the bright lights and the falling snow of the Winter X Games in Aspen.
The competition was held in spite of snowy conditions — a wet, sticky mix that forced an early end to the men's snowboard slopestyle Saturday night.
The snowfall lightened a bit for big air with Bowsch and Brown taking advantage.
The former won with an 86.00 to the latter's 85.00.
The bronze medal went to Eilas Ambul, also of Switzerland.
The gold medal was the first Winter X medal for Boesch, 18.
"This is X Games," said Brown. "No matter the weather, the intensity is always high."
The 2016 Winter X Games will conclude at Buttermilk on Sunday.
The featured event at 1:45 p.m. is the women's snowboard superpipe competition with defending champion Chloe Kim.
A show by Kygo at 3:30 p.m. will close the X Games in Aspen.
Jossi Wells finally gets an X win
It was a day of firsts Sunday in the men's ski slopestyle competition in light snow at Buttermilk.
Jossi Wells of New Zealand won his first gold medal at the Winter X Games. Nick Goepper of the U.S. failed to win gold in slopestyle in Aspen for the first time in four years. And Oystein Braaten snared his first Winter X Games medal ever in Aspen.
Wells wasted no time as the skier to beat with the high score on the first run. The snow picked up for the second and most competitors were cautious on the jumps in the flat light, but Wells wasn't leaving victory to chance. He solidified his lead by bumping up his high score from 88.33 to 90 in his third run.
He was ecstatic in the finish coral but had to wait as the final six competitors finished their runs. That included the final run by Goepper, the three-time defending champion. After negotiating rails well on the upper part of course on the final run, he failed to get any amplitude coming into the first of three jumps. He fell and surrendered the crown.
After the competition, the Wells said he was overjoyed to get a Winter X Games gold that's been eluding him since he was 17. He dropped competing in the superpipe to focus on slopestyle and big air this year.
Gus Kenworthy, a competitor from Telluride, also saved his best for the last of the three runs. He came out of mid-pack to capture the silver medal with a strong third run and said he felt OK with his prior runs, but knew he had to make some tweaks for the final run.
"I just knew I couldn't have any mistakes," he said.
He said he and Wells have been friends for a long time. "I feel honored to finish second to him," he said.
Kenworthy grabbed silver in Thursday's skier superpipe competition. That was his first X Games medal in Aspen. Now he has two silvers.
Braaten shook off the effects of a hard fall in practice earlier on Sunday to grab bronze. His best score of the three runs was his first.
U.S. skier Joss Christensen tried to ski through a broken left hand. It appeared to bother him on his first run, but he was able to complete it. He took a hard fall on the third jump on his second run and was in pain in the finish coral. On his third run, he fell again coming off the rails. He faces surgery on Monday.
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