Silverthorne snowboarder wins FIS slopestyle season title with victory in Italy, Gerard takes second
March 20, 2018
In the weeks following a medal-less 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, Chris Corning didn't sit and sulk. Rather, within a month of the conclusion of the Olympics, Corning took second at the Burton U.S. Open and this past weekend clinched the 2017-18 International Ski and Snowboard Federation World Cup for snowboard slopestyle.
The 18-year-old Silverthorne resident hoisted the crystal globe — the prize awarded to the FIS snowboard slopestyle World Cup champion — after he won the final World Cup event of the season in Seiser Alm, Italy.
Just over a week after his final run score of 87.95 was good enough for a second-place slopestyle finish — behind Canadian Mark McMorris — at the Burton U.S. Open in Vail, Corning took control of the competition on his first run.
On that fateful first finals trip down the Seiser Alm slopestyle course, Corning's 87.11 was good enough to best the second place score of Norwegian rider Fridtjof Tischendorf (84.36). Corning's final round heroics came after he finished the qualifying round in a tie for the top score, of 90.50, with 19-year-old Hawaiian Lyon Farrell, who finished in third place.
"I'm super stoked. That's why I came to Italy: to get this globe," Corning said. "I had to win today to make it happen, and I did. I'm also happy that Lyon stomped his run, and I'm stoked to share the podium with him."
Corning just might be riding at a higher level than he ever has before, as his qualifying and final round performances dominated the men's event at Seiser Alm.
His final round performance included a solid rail line featuring a backside 270 (three-quarters of a full rotation) in and 270 out of the first rail feature, a switch backblunt to 50-50 to backside 360 out of the second feature and a frontside 180 to switch backside 360 out of the third feature. His take on the first part of the course was followed by his execution of a switch backside 900 (two and a half full rotations), a backside triple cork 1440 and a frontside 1080 on the slopestyle course's jumps.
After a January World cup event in Laax, Switzerland, was cancelled, the 2017-18 FIS World Cup snowboard slopestyle season was comprised of three events.
At the first event in September in Cardrona, New Zealand, Corning finished in fourth-place. Nursing a nagging hip and lower back injury suffered at the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain Resort in December, Corning did not compete at the second snowboard slopestyle World Cup event of the season at Aspen Snowmass in January.
In the atypical Olympic year, Corning's fellow Silverthorne snowboarder Red Gerard, the 17-year-old Olympic slopestyle champion, did not compete in Italy but finished the season ranked second in the FIS slopestyle World Cup race, 50 points behind Corning. Silverthorne resident, Michigan native and Olympic big air silver medalist Kyle Mack, 20, also didn't compete at Seiser Alm.
Corning's 2017-18 slopestyle World Cup season title win comes nearly two years to the day after the then-16-year-old secured his first overall World Cup slopestyle title at the Spindleruv Mlyn ski resort in the Czech Republic.
Corning also leads the World Cup big air standings heading into this weekend's final big air World Cup event of the season in Quebec City, Canada. His 1,800 points in big air rank him 300 points ahead of Japan's Yuri Okubo (1,500 points).
Mack invited to X Games Norway
On Monday, Silverthorne resident Mack was one of eight snowboarders, eight skiers and 13 skateboarders who received an invitation to X Games Norway 2018, scheduled for May 18-20 in Oslo.
The Olympic big air silver medalist and Michigan native was invited to the Big Air competition along with other top international names, including 15-time X Games medalist and 2018 Olympic bronze medalist Mark McMorris.
He'll be looking for his first X Games medal. As for the other snowboarders currently invited to partake in the X Games Norway big air competition, the list includes a who's who of the best international slopestyle and big air stars: Canadian Big Air superstar and multi-time X Games medalist Max Parrot, Norwegian favorite and 2018 X Games Aspen slopestyle gold medalist Marcus Kleveland, the Olympic big air champion Sebastien Toutant of Canada and Japanese high-flyer and snowboard sensation Yuki Kadono.
Neither Gerard nor Corning are currently listed as invited for the May 18-20 event, which doesn't feature a slopestyle competition.
This year's X Games Norway big air competitions will be held on a scaffold jump, much like the sold out competitions in 2016 where 20,000 spectators watched the first-ever X Games in Norway.
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