Local boy Alex Schlopy became the first ever World Champion in men's ski slopestyle today at the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships. The stakes for this event were high. Not only were riders competing for their home country, but they were also showing the International Olympic Committee why slopestyle should become a part of the 2014 Winter Games. The stage was set for a world-class final and that's what we got.
Anna Segal. Photo: Erik Seo
As the women took the field, the sun was shining bright and we had nothing but bluebird on the horizon. As only the 3rd women to hit the course, Australia's Anna Segal earned her gold medal right out of the gates. She conquered the jib section with a lipslide onto the downrail, disaster onto the flat-down box and 180 over the Park City bonk into a switch 5, mute 7 and flat 3 on the jump line. Anna Segal set down a solid run with her first drop and it was up to the rest of the women to try and better it. Canda's Kaya Turski slipped into the second position with a huge score from her first run. Second drop, USA's Keri Herman got the crowd fired up by disastering the flat down box and putting down back to back 5s into a switch 7. Herman's run left fans wondering if USA would move into the top spot, but when the judges tallied their scores it was a well deserved Bronze. The final podium was Austrailian Anna Segal 1st, Canadian Kaya Turski 2nd and American Keri Herman 3rd.
Alex Schlopy. Photo: Erik Seo
With double cork 1260's being a standard in men's slopestyle, the men's final was going to come down to style and consistency. As the men started to drop it seemed as though they were either going too big or playing it too safe. These men sure know how to keep a crowd on the edge of their seats. Aussie Russ Henshaw mixed things up with a stylish hand drag 360 and ended his run with clean double cork 1080. Sammy Carlson's double rodeo 1080 to double cork 1080 put him above Henshaw, but it wasn't enough to catch fellow USA teammate and hometown hero Alex Schlopy. With style for days on the upper jib section and a massive bag of tricks over the jump line that included a 900, switch 1260 and a double cork 1260, Schlopy had left his mark. Alex Schlopy took the first ever World Championship Slopestyle Gold medal in front of friends and family at his home resort. "Being able to do well in my hometown is the best thing I could ever ask for," said Schlopy.
The action at Park City Mountain Resort continues tomorrow with men and women's halfpipe qualifiers. Be sure to follow us on twitter @pcride for up to the minute results and photos.
Originally from the Pocono’s of Pennsylvania, Travis found his way to Park City three years ago and is now our grooming manager. When not in snowcat you can find him skiing or snowmobiling in the Utah backcountry or enjoying the skiing here at Park City Mountain Resort.