Records were decimated on Thursday at Winter X Games in Aspen as Tom Wallisch’s gold medal Slopestyle run scored a 96.00 and Kaya Turski became the first woman to win three consecutive gold medals in Slopestyle.
It was Wallisch’s first Winter X Games medal and he was thrilled to win it “under the lights in primetime.”
Buttermilk Mountain hosted the first nighttime X Games Slopestyle competition under the lights.
“I think it’s going to open the sport up to a bigger audience,” Wallisch said.
His winning run featured an impressive wallride on the first feature that drew cheers from the audience below.
Winter X Games rookie and the youngest Slopestyle competitor Nick Goepper, 17, scored 94.66 and took the silver. For the third-consecutive year, Norway’s Andreas Håtveit grabbed the bronze.
Kaya Turski's final Slopestyle run earned her the first gold of this year's X Games. Photo by Tomas Zuccareno. Courtesy of ESPN Images.
Earlier in the day, the women took to the 1,600-foot long course with six features, where Canada’s Kaya Turski won the first gold of the Games and her third-consecutive gold in Women’s Ski Slopestyle.
In the past two X Games, Turski’s final run had been a victory lap, but this year it all came down to that crucial third run, when Turski, who was in third-place after two runs, landed her switch 1080 off the final jump and scored a 95.00 to win it.
Devin Logan, 18, scored a 92.33 and took silver. Australia’s Anna Segal, who scored a 90.00 on her first run and led the competition through two rounds, grabbed the bronze.
"I've never seen the level so high as I've seen it today,” Turski said. “The switch 10 is definitely raising the bar, Anna (Segal) spinning both ways is raising the bar, Devin (Logan) getting inverted is as well, the level is getting really high, I’m just excited were pushing the sport.”
Anna Segal pays tribute to her fallen competitor, Sarah Burke, during the Women's Slopestyle event. Photo by Tomas Zuccareno. Courtesy of ESPN Images.
It’s just as Sarah Burke would have wanted it. Prior to the men’s Slopestyle Finals, X Games competitors and friends honored the fallen skier with a candlelit descent of her beloved X Games halfpipe, where she won four gold medals and was the first female skier to land a 720, 900 and 1080.
Burke, a Canadian freeskiing icon, died last week in a Utah hospital nine days after an accident in the Park City halfpipe on January 10.
Her parents and husband, skier Rory Bushfield, joined the massive crowd of friends and fans who gathered to celebrate Burke’s life.