Silverthorne resident Kyle Mack wins silver medal in Olympics’ first-ever snowboard big air
By Ed Stoner and Antonio Olivero Summit Daily News
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — At the top of the Olympic big air course, Kyle Mack thought about doing a standard tail grab.But he had another, more stylish, distinct and difficult grab in mind — the Bloody Dracula. It entails grabbing the tail of the board with both hands.By the time his fellow Silverthorne snowboarder and good friend Red Gerard was about to drop for his second run, Mack had made up his mind.“(Gerard) turned back and he goes, ‘Bloody?'” Mack recalled of the pivotal moment. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, you’re going to see it.'”Mack didn’t even land the trick — officially called a “front-side double 1440 Bloody Dracula” in snowboard lingo — in practice. But the 20-year-old West Bloomfield, Michigan native landed it clean when it counted, for a score of 86.75, taking the silver Saturday in the first men’s snowboarding big air competition at an Olympics.Mack’s take on the one-of-a-kind trick is not only difficult, it may be even more original and atypical. The move requires the proud Michigander to complete four full 360-degree rotations while also grabbing the rear of his snowboard with both of his mittened-hands.On his first trick, he landed a backside triple 1440 with a Japan grab.“To land those two tricks right off the bat, it took all the pressure off me, and it was just insane,” Mack said. “To walk away with the silver here today, it was just mind-blowing.”Sebastien Toutant, of Canada, took gold with a cab triple cork 1620 and a backside triple cork 1620 — two moves that required him to rotate four-and-a-half times and complete three inversions. Billy Morgan, of Great Britain, got the bronze.Chris Corning, also of Silverthorne, finished fourth, attempting a massive backside quadruple cork 1800 on his final hit, coming up just short on the landing. Corning’s customary fearlessness was on full display on the groundbreaking attempt.It was the only trick he didn’t land as, on the attempt, the 18-year-old Silverthorne resident completed the rotations and flips necessary to land the truly-progressive version of the quadruple cork 1800. It’s a watershed trick in the contemporary snowboard landscape that required Corning to complete four inversions and five full 360-degree rotations.
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