Corning takes FIS big air, overall freestyle titles
With the conclusion of the final International Ski and Snowboard Federation big air event of the season in Quebec City, Canada, Silverthorne snowboarder Chris Corning ends the 2017-18 season atop the big air and overall FIS snowboard freestyle World Cup leaderboards.
The 18-year-old from Summit County concluded the season with 1,800 World Cup points in the snowboard big air discipline, 300 more than Japan’s Yuri Okubo, who finished the year in second place.
For the overall snowboard freestyle leaderboard — which combines points across the big air, slopestyle and halfpipe disciplines — Corning finished the season with 3,300 points, 300 points more than Japanese snowboarder Yuto Totsuka.
Totsuka, who finished the season atop the FIS halfpipe World Cup leaderboard, amassed all 3,000 of his points in halfpipe competitions while Corning achieved his overall total via the 1,800 FIS World Cup big air points and 1,500 slopestyle points. With that total, Corning also won this season’s FIS Snowboard Slopestyle World Cup.
In this atypical Olympic season that altered many snowboarders’ schedules, neither Corning nor Okubu competed at last weekend’s final of five 2017-18 FIS World Cup Snowboard big air events. Canadian big air superstar and hometown hero Max Parrot won the competition, earning 1,000 World Cup points that propelled him to fourth place in the final snowboard big air season standings.
This season, the majority of top international snowboarders, including Corning, elected to compete in three or fewer of the five FIS big air World Cup events, as major international events like the two-week Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, X Games Aspen and the Burton U.S. Open in Vail crowded a condensed 2017-18 schedule.
Corning compiled his 1,800 big air points at just two events this season, including 1,000 points and a first-place finish at the season’s debut World Cup big air event in Milan, Italy, on Nov. 11, 2017. At that event, Silverthorne’s trio of snowboarders swept the podium with eventual 2018 Olympic slopestyle gold medalist Red Gerard, 17, taking second place and Michigan native and eventual 2018 Olympic big air silver medalist Kyle Mack, 20, finishing in third place.
Like Corning, Gerard and Mack also only competed in two total FIS big air World Cup events this season — the Milan event and the Dec. 10, 2017, U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain Resort. At that event, Corning’s second-place finish earned him his remaining 800 big air points while Gerard earned 220 World Cup points and Mack earned 26. The point totals resulted in a ninth-place finish and a 26th-place finish for the FIS big air World Cup season for Gerard and Mack, respectively. The duo finished the 2017-18 season in fourth and 44th places, respectively, for the overall FIS snowboard freestyle leaderboard.
The FIS Snowboard World Cup will return in just five months, with an Aug. 25-28 big air World Cup event scheduled in Cardrona, New Zealand. The preliminary 2018-19 FIS World Cup snowboard big air schedule features 10 planned events, including a return to Copper Mountain Resort for a Dec. 6-9, big air and halfpipe event for both freestyle snowboarding and skiing. Next season’s FIS snowboard slopestyle schedule currently features nine planned events, beginning with a Dec. 19-21 event in Secret Garden, China.
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