Mark McMorris: COC Photo by Alex Paradis

X Games Domination

Canadians took the 2013 X Games in Aspen, Colorado by storm this weekend and were led by Regina, SK native Mark McMorris who flew to two medals during competition. The defending slopestyle and big air champion showed he was ready to up his game by posting the day’s top two scores in slopestyle and winning with a record breaking third-run of 98.00 points, the highest score in X Games slopestyle history. The 19-year-old set a new standard during an event that saw three competitors land backside triple cork 1440s, a first for the discipline.

Right behind McMorris was X Games rookie and fellow Canadian Max Parrot of Bromont, QC earning a silver medal with a triple cork of his own to score 94 points.

McMorris, also the 2012 X Games big air champion, came up just short of defending his title when he scored a 48 on his final big air jump to finish right behind of Norwegian Torstein Horgmo who scored an impressive perfect 50 with a switch backside triple cork 1440, the first ever landed in competition.

McMorris also made history by nailing the first ever cab triple underflip 1440 in competition — a trick he had never tried before Friday night at the X Games. Norwegian Stale Sandbech captured bronze to round out the top three.

On the women’s side, 2013 world champion Spencer O’Brien of North Vancouver, BC captured bronze  with 88.66 points.

Women Shine in Superpipe Final

Canadian women dominated the superpipe ski finals at the Winter X Games in Aspen, USA by claiming three of the four spots in competition.

Rosalind Groenewoud of Calgary, AB, led the way with a score of 86.66 to capture silver followed by Megan Gunning, also of Calgary, in third at 85.00 and Edmonton’s Keltie Hansen was a very close fourth with a score of 84.33. American Maddie Bowman scored 91.33 in the best of three run final to take the gold.

“I feel like a lot of the things I’ve been working really hard on have been clicking, especially this week,” said Groenewoud. “I’ve been fixing a lot of bad habits and it’s finally coming together so I really feel like my skiing is on an upward trajectory and I feel like if I land a run like I was skiing tonight I would be in a good place for the rest of the competitions this year.”

With the silver, Groenewoud moves even closer to earning early eligibility to be nominated to the 2014 Games team. The 2012 X Games champion is now required to capture two podiums out of five specifically targeted events to meet the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association’s ‘Method A’ early eligibility criteria.

Pair of Medals in Ski Slopestyle

Kaya Turski and Dara Howell picked up silver and bronze in the women’s slopestyle event in Aspen. Turski of Montreal, QC was sitting in last place when she dropped for her final run in the best-of-three format, after having problems with the second feature on the course.

“You know, the second rail kind of messed with me, it’s so silly,” said Turski who scored a 90.00 on her run. “I feel like it’s often the features you don’t even think twice about that give you a hard time and today they did.”

Howell of Huntsville, ON scored an 89.33 to capture bronze.

“I’m really happy to be on the podium and I landed the run from Dew Tour that I fell on so that’s great, but I did make a few mistakes here,” said Howell who was fifth at December’s Dew Cup. “I missed my grabs a little bit, but I’m happy to be on the podium. I definitely want to keep progressing, progression is huge for me, I want to keep pushing the sport and pushing myself and today was a run I knew I could put down and I just have to get those grabs better for next time.”