In the highly competitive Women’s Ski Big Air final, seven of the world’s leading women freeskiers battled overcast skies and low visibility at Hafjell Resort. Adding to the challenge, winners were no longer decided based on a cumulative score of their best left- and right-turning tricks. Instead, judges were looking for the best overall impression in a 30-minute jam format.
As a result of the new format introduced at XG Aspen 2020, riders had very little room for error. Even the slightest slip-up or botched landing can hurt overall scores, as several podium favorites would learn the hard way during Saturday’s competitions.
With that said, it’s even more amazing that Monster Energy’s Maggie Voisin still rose all the way to the podium despite a less-than-perfect landing on her first aerial across the massive Big Air jump. On her second run, the 21-year-old from White Fish, Montana, managed to get her mojo back by stomping a picture-perfect leftside double cork 1260 safety grab to take an early lead.
Keeping the heavy tricks coming, Voisin followed up with a leftside Rodeo 900 Japan grab and switch leftside 720 nosegrab to maintain her lead. But when the session moved into last attempts, Voisin found herself bumped into second place by Canada’s Meghan Oldham also pulling out a 1260 aerial. After firing back with a rightside 900 tailgrab, Maggie Voisin ended with a strong silver medal finish, her personal best in Big Air competition to date.
Also keep a close eye on Maggie Voisin in Sunday’s Ski Slopestyle event, which she won at X Games Aspen 2018. The U.S. freeski prodigy now owns six total medals (1 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze) and made history at XG Norway 2017 as the first American woman to medal in Big Air.
Speaking of making history, Monster Energy’s Max Parrot had a chance to extend his current record of holding the most X Games medals in Men’s Snowboard Big Air. The 25-year-old from Bromont, Canada, was facing an elite field of the world’s best freestyle snowboarders, including fellow Canadian McMorris, who was looking to claim the most overall Winter X Games medals of all time.
The stakes were high as the final session got underway, and Max Parrot instantly felt the dark side of the new jam format. When he missed the landing on 1620 aerial attempts during his first two runs, the decorated Canadian snowboard icon needed something big to get back on track and get a shot at the podium.
Fortunately, Parrot found it on his third attempt when he finally clinched the landing on a Cab triple cork 1620 mute that put him back into the running for podium spots. As the action intensified, he kept his momentum by sending a perfect backside triple cork 1620 over the massive gap.
On his final run of the contest, Max Parrot landed a perfect frontside triple cork 1620 mute. Enough to seal the victory? Not in the new jam format. Because of his falls on the first two attempts, Parrot had to settle for second place in what commentators called one of the best Big Air finals ever seen.
Nevertheless, Max Parrot still owns the most medals in the history of X Games Snowboard Big Air (6 gold, 4 silver). He also continues to reign as one of the most decorated snowboarders in history after making an emotional return to competition by winning Big Air gold at X Games Norway 2019, freshly recovered from a battle with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer.
Parrot now commands an impressive overall X Games medal count of 12 medals (7 gold, 5 silver) and will be gunning for the podium in the Monster Energy Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle event tomorrow.
Max Parrot was joined on an all-Canadian Big Air podium by his Monster Energy teammate Darcy Sharpe from Comox, British Columbia. The 23-year-old came all the way to Norway still buzzing from his recent Slopestyle gold and Rail Jam silver at X Games Aspen 2020.
Stepping to the massive Big Air jump, Sharpe put his versatile aerial skills on full display: A backside 1260 mute, frontside double cork 1440, backside triple cork 1440 mute, and a highly technical switch backside double cork 1260 tailgrab earned Sharpe the bronze medal.
The brother of Monster Energy freeskier Cassie Sharpe now owns four X Games medals (1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze) and will be mining for more precious metal in tomorrow’s Slopestyle event.
Rounding out an unforgettable first day on the mountain, X Games Norway 2020 featured concerts by hot musical acts Arif, Musti, Chris Abolade, and Alan Walker, the latter performing his newest single, “End of Time,” live for the first time ever in front of a stoked crowd.
Make sure to tune in on Sunday when X Games Norway 2020 keeps bringing the heat with Ski Slopestyle and Snowboard Slopestyle competitions. Watch out for top stories including Monster Energy’s Jamie Anderson looking to add to her current record as the world’s most decorated female X Games athlete and Henrik Harlaut expanding his count of the most freeski medals in X Games history.
Also follow Monster Energy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for exclusive behind-the-scenes looks in Norway and watch the hashtag #UnleashedAtX for updates.