Swiss skier Ragettli wins men’s ski slope at worlds as US gets 2 on podium
The Aspen Times
Utah freeskiers Stevenson, Hall round out podium
ASPEN — The U.S. was well represented on the men’s freeski slopestyle final podium at the world championships Saturday, March 13, but it was Switzerland’s Andri Ragettli who delivered late for a long sought-after gold medal at Buttermilk Ski Area in Aspen.
Ragettli improved upon a strong second run by scoring 90.65 on his third and final run in windy conditions ahead of an approaching winter storm to take the win. The 22-year-old missed the 2019 world champs due to injury and finished sixth in the 2017 contest, the only other time he had competed in the biennial event.
“I knew I could improve the second rail a lot, so that was my plan for my last run and landed perfect and took the win,” said Ragettli, who also won ski big air gold at X Games Aspen in January. “This is a big day for me. It was a goal for me. Last world championships I was injured. I missed it, so it feels good to be back.”
The last-second heroics by Ragettli swiped a win from Park City’s Colby Stevenson, who took silver with 89.55 scored on his second run. He shared the podium with Utah teammate Alex Hall, who won bronze with 86.01. It was the first worlds medal for either skier.
“Colby and I have always talked about being on the podium together and we’ve never done it,” Hall said. “We kind of always have opposite days, I feel like. It’s super dope to be on there with him finally. He’s such a talented skier. So hyped for him.”
Both Americans have found success at Buttermilk before. Hall, 22, won slopestyle gold at X Games in 2019 and Stevenson, 23, won two gold medals in 2020, winning slopestyle and knuckle huck in his X Games debut.
“Very stoked. They skied amazing and powered through the challenging conditions out there with the wind today,” said U.S. ski team coach Skogen Sprang. “I couldn’t be more proud of them. They laid down their runs and skied great.”
Reigning slopestyle world champion James Woods of Great Britain finished fourth on Saturday with 84.76, followed in fifth by Switzerland’s Kim Gubser (81.78) and in sixth by Sweden’s Oliwer Magnusson (81.63).
Stevenson finished eighth in his only other world championship appearance, way back in 2015 in Austria.
“Any day I come out and land a run, that’s a win for me,” Stevenson said. “Things went really well for us and no one got seriously injured. Definitely a big success for the event and world champs.”
Hall was a late addition to the podium after he failed to get anything going on either of his first two runs.
“Didn’t really make it past the first rail, which was a little frustrating. I kind of was struggling with that rail all day,” Hall said. “I don’t really know why. It was a little windy so I couldn’t quite nail the speed and the pop. It was a little bit of a struggle, but switched it up for the last run and was pretty down the drain mentally, but once I got past that first rail I got a little more hyped to do the rest of the run. I’m stoked it worked out for the last run.”
This story is from AspenTimes.com
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