This weekend saw the return of everyone’s favourite freestyle ski event; The Winter X-Games. As the snow fell on Aspen, Colarado, the games kicked off for 4 days of excitement and surprises on the perfectly built Superpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air courses. The Faction Team were repping in full force - check out what they got up to below.
Kelly Breaks More Records
After missing last year’s X Games with an ACL injury, Kelly was back in action at Aspen, Colorado this weekend and with a point to prove. In less than 26 hours, Kelly racked up 3 medals, the first time any athlete has won 3 medals at a single X Games, with Silver in the Pipe, Gold in the Slopestyle before closing the weekend out with a Bronze in the Big Air.
In the Half Pipe, Kelly had a super close competition with Cassie Sharpe. Setting the bar high, Kelly put down an opening score of 92.33, which Cassie just beat by 1.7 points in her final run to clinch the Gold medal.
In the Slopestyle, Kelly was dominant. With a points score that would have won the Gold medal on each of her 3 runs, Kelly kept pushing the bar with a 94.33 on run 1, 96.66 on run 2, before putting down a truly stunning run for a score of 99 points; the highest score recorded in a ski event (men's and women's) at a Winter X Games. (See below left for Kelly's record-breaking run).
Closing out her weekend in the Big Air competition, with the requirement to spin both ways, the top 3 were incredibly close. Kelly's highest scoring runs were a Switch left 10 mute (38.00) run 1 and a Switch right 12 mute (41.0) run 5, bringing her total to 79 points, just 1 point behind second place and only 4 behind fellow Faction Athlete Mathilde Gremaud.
Alex and Alex both win Gold
Alex Hall and Alex Ferriera both turned up to this years X Games looking for their first Gold medal, and neither went home disappointed.
In the Slopestyle, Alex Hall put in a masterclass performance with two incredible runs for 94.33 and 95.66 points, both of which would have earned him the Gold. On the rails Alex put a very technical run down with a switch 2 nose tap, and a switch 3 tail tap switch 50 with the tap at 180, followed by a left double cork 12 stale, switch left double cork 1440 seatbelt japan, and switch right double cork 1260 reverse mute on the jumps.
In the Pipe, Alex Ferriera came out of the gates flying high, with a 90.33 score putting down his marker for the competition with a: two dub 12s (left and right), left dub 10, a switch 7 and a down-pipe dub flat 9 . In the final run, David Wise put the pressure on with a 90.33 score of his own but, with an X Games Gold medal in his home town on the table, Alex brought it home with a cleaned up version of his first run for 92.66. (You can check out his winning run below right)
Swiss Duo Podium in Style
With the Swiss duo of Mathilde Gremaud and Sarah Hoefflin competing in the same two events, the level of competition was always going to be high. Both riders are known for their slick style in the air, but even when they fall they do it in style!
In the Slopestyle, Sarah opened up with a big run putting down a solid 90 points including a disaster switch 2 on, a front four from the cannon and a switch 10 on the money booter. Although she didn't manage to put another clean run down, it was enough to claim Silver and continue her record of finishing on a podium in every competition she's competed in this winter.
For Mathilde, after an unlucky performance in the Slopestyle event during the day, she turned it around with a fantastic performance at the Big Air competition under the lights to take the Gold. With the athletes having to put down spins going both ways, for her two highest scoring jumps Mathilde threw a: Rightside bio 9 safety (36.00) run 4, and a switch left dub 10 safety (47.00) run 3 for a total of 83 points and securing the Gold medal, two points clear of 2nd place.