X Games crown returns to Scotty James
29 January 2019
WINTER SPORTS: The undefeated reign of Scotty James continued on the weekend with the 24-year-old taking out the Winter X Games Superpipe title, his fourth win from as many starts this season.
James broke his snowboard in a training mishap just before the event, but that didn’t stop him from bouncing back and putting down a gold-medal winning second run which included a backside double 1260 and a switch backside 1080 to score 94 points.
Saturday’s win was James’ second X Games victory in three years after he claimed the title in 2017 and finished runner up last year.
James’ win is even more remarkable given his challenging preparation.
"I had a pretty horrible practice, which was really messing with me a little bit," James told the Aspen Times.
"I broke my snowboard and I hadn't done all my tricks yet or finished the run that I wanted to do.
"I was able to get up and get one more run in, but it was a new board, so it was a little bit hard for me to figure it out. It was a pretty dramatic set-up into the competition but I was stoked I was able to pull it off."
Japan’s Yuto Totsuka finished second with a score of 90.00 and America’s Danny Davis rounded out the podium with a top score of 83.66.
Like his Laax World Cup win from the weekend before, James used his final run of the competition to ride down the side of the pipe and high-five the fans.
“I came here tonight and everyone is riding so well, so I didn’t expect anything,” James said.
“So to come out with a victory lap at the end is a dream come true. To have X Games medals, I’m just so grateful.”
Taking the victory the day after Australia Day, James thanked all his Aussie fans in the crowd and supporting him from back home.
“Huge shout out back home to everyone in Australia! I’ve said it so many times but I’m just a kid from Warrandyte that had a dream. Everyone back home, and my brother at the top of the pipe, and my family in the crowd today, everyone just believed in me and I surround myself with like-minded people. Australia got behind me and so did Aspen and everyone else here today!”
In further winter podium news, mogul skier Jakara Anthony continued her best ever winter season at the Mont Tremblant World Cup in Canada with a silver medal.
20-year-old Anthony scored 75.08 to narrowly miss out on the gold medal which France’s Perrine Laffont won with a 75.51. Canada’s Justine Lapointe-Dufour won the bronze with 73.67, just in front of her sister Chloe in fourth.
Anthony has made the final of every event this season, and her third podium, which is a promising sign ahead of the 2019 World Championships, kicking off in Utah at the end of the week.
“I couldn’t be happier right now, backing up another podium from last week’s gold medal,” Anthony said.
“Now I’m really looking forward to World Championships in Deer Valley next week.”
Britt Cox also qualified for women’s finals, finishing 12th overall. Taylah O’Neill missed out on a spot in the final by one place, finishing 17th and Sophie Ash placed 20th.
Matt Graham was once again the top placed Aussie in the men’s event, finishing in 4th place. Brodie Summers finished 21st, Rohan Chapman-Davies 26th, James Matheson 33rd and Cooper Woods-Topalovic 43rd.
Also in Canada, Sami Kennedy-Sim was in action at the Blue Mountain Ski Cross World Cup, reaching the quarter finals and finishing in 12th place.
Greta Small hit the slopes at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany for the FIS Alpine World Cup. As part of a large pack, Small finished 40th in the Ladies Super G tour event.
The Flying Kangaroos aerials team competed at the US National Championships in Lake Placid, New York. With the World Championships kicking off in Utah next week, it was a great opportunity for the aerialists to fine tune their form. Laura Peel scored an 81.78 to take second place, with Abbey Wilcox 11th and Brittany George 21st. In the men’s event, Wesley Naylor finished 25th.
Australia’s top ski and snowboard athletes will now converge in Utah, USA for the 2019 World Championships, running 1-10 February. See the event page and schedule HERE.