With stellar final run, Silverthorne’s Corning wins X Games bronze medal
What a way to cap the 2018 season for Silverthorne teen snowboard star Chris Corning.
On a day for the sport’s youth at X Games Norway in Oslo, the 18-year-old executed an impressive trick on his third and final jump to leapfrog several of the world’s best snowboarders and earn a spot on his first career X Games podium.
Corning put himself into third-place position late in Saturday’s big air competition by executing a backside triple cork 1620, landing the trick smoothly and in control despite nearly over-rotating enough for another half spin. The trick requires Corning to invert on his axis three times while rotating four-and-a-half times — 1620 degrees — toward his board’s backside.
After a moderately long deliberation from the five X Games judges, Corning was awarded 45 points for his trick. In a contest that awards points for each rider’s best two of frontside, backside and switch spin choices out of three total attempts, Corning’s 45 on his final attempt paired with a 38.66 on his second attempt gave him a third-place score of 83.66. On that 38.66 second attempt, Corning executed a frontside flat-spin 1440 — four full horizontal rotations — with a melon grab.
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Corning then waited patiently in the corral area at the bottom of the 41-degree, 200-foot specially built scaffolding big air jump to see if his mark would be good enough for the podium. It proved so as X Games snowboard veterans and 2018 Olympic big air gold medalist Sebastien Toutant and Mark McMorris of Canada failed to land 1620 attempts of their own on the slushy course in Oslo. The final snowboarder to drop in, Max Parrot of Canada, also failed to land his final attempt.
Corning also dodged fellow Silverthorne-resident snowboarder and Michigan native Kyle Mack, who finished in seventh with a score of 48.00. The 2018 Olympic big air silver medalist went huge on his final attempt, after failing to land his first attempt. On that final attempt, Mack flew down the jump and attempted what appeared to be a frontside 1620 with a tail grab in his customary style. But Mack landed with a lot of amplitude and force on his back heel far down the landing, falling to his back. Olympic slopestyle gold medalist and Silverthorne snowboarder Red Gerard did not compete in Saturday’s big air competition.
On a day when the world’s other top big air snowboarders struggled with speed and power on the scaffolding jump, Mack and Corning sent it as far and as big as any shredders not named Takeru Otsuka and Marcus Kleveland, Saturday’s gold and silver medal winners respectively. The 17-year-old Otsuka qualified with Corning from the initial eight-snowboarder preliminary heat, joining the other six snowboarders in the evening sunset final. Otsuka looked on-point through the qualifying session, easily getting through before locking up the surprising championship with a score of 91.00 in the final round. The homecountry fan-favorite Norwegian Kleveland took second with a score of 86.33.
Corning’s X Games bronze caps a season where he won the International Ski and Snowboard Federation’s slopestyle and overall world cup season titles and took silver in slopestyle at the Burton U.S. Open of Snowboarding at Vail Mountain. Corning also finished in fourth place at the Olympic big air competition and finished in second place in slopestyle at December’s Dew Tour at Breckenridge Ski Resort.
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