All Eyes on Chris Corning – With X Games Norway on deck Saturday, its back-to-back big air weekends for high-flying American snowboarder Chris Corning, of Silverthorne.
Corning, 19, is one of 10 elite international snowboarders slated to compete at Saturdays big air event at X Games Norway in Oslo.
The competition comes just days after Corning won last weekends first International Ski & Snowboard Federation World Cup event of the season, big air snowboarding at the Winter Games New Zealand in Cardrona, New Zealand. Corning, who now splits his time between Summit and Eagle counties, won the competition on the strength of his trademark, groundbreaking quad-cork 1800. Corning is the only snowboarder to ever land the trick, which features four inversions and five, full 360-degree rotations, in a World Cup competition.
After first landing the trick at last years World Cup big air event in Cardrona, Corning landed it for the second time in competition at the Winter Games New Zealand, topping the podium with a two-run score of 176.25.
Cornings fellow Summit County snowboarder Red Gerard, 19, finished runner-up last weekend at his first big air competition in a year with a score of 161.25. Gerard, who specializes in slopestyle and won the gold medal in the event at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, is not scheduled to compete at X Games on Saturday.
Saturdays big air competition which will begin with an elimination round at 5 a.m. local Colorado mountain time before a final round at 10:45 a.m. local mountain time includes a whos who of international heavy hitters. The squad features Japanese daredevil Yuki Kadono and Canadian star Mark McMorris, who won silver at the X Games Aspen big air competition earlier this year.
The guts and the power needed to pull this off are indescribable… The USAs Chris Corning just became the first rider ever to land a quad on a scaffold jump, taking the win in Atlanta and taking the 2019/20 big air crystal globe in the process!— fissnowboard (@fissnowboard) December 21, 2019
Other top riders include stylish Finnish snowboarder Rene Rinnekangas, Norwegian two-time X Games bronze medalist Mons Roisland, Swedish veteran and 2019 X Games Aspen big air bronze medalist Sven Thorgren, nine-time X Games medalist Max Parrot of Canada and popular Norwegian rider Fridtjof Fridge Tischendorf. On home soil, Norwegians Stian Kleivdal and Markus Olimstad also will compete.
Considering his podium finish at the most recent X Games Norway snowboard big air competition in May 2018, Corning might not have to ride in the elimination round. At past X Games, top returning finishers in specific competitions have automatic byes to the final round.
Saturdays competition unlike last weeks big air event, which took place on a natural hill in New Zealand will take place on a scaffolding jump. The 40-meter jump is a sight to see, as riders will drop into the ramp above and outside of the Telenor Arenas roof. Theyll then ride down the ramp, into the stadium and past fans seated on each side before hitting the kicker inside the arena.
To construct the one-of-a-kind big air jump, event officials constructed the scaffolding jump outside of the arena, removing a portion of the roof to allow for the ramp to descend to the interior.
In May 2018, Corning won his first and only X Games medal of his young career with a bronze medal in big air at X Games Norway.
Corning won the medal on the strength of a back-side triple-cork 1620 and a front-side flat-spin 1440. Corning finished that competition behind a pair of international stars, Takeru Otsuka of Japan and Marcus Kleveland of Norway, who are not scheduled to compete Saturday, as both are still on the mend from injuries suffered last season.
Along with mens snowboard big air, other winter sports competitions at Saturdays X Games Norway include mens ski big air, womens snowboard big air and womens ski big air. Americans competing in those events include Jamie Anderson and Julia Marino (womens snowboard big air) and Alex Hall (mens ski big air).
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