Men and Women's Ski Slopestyle at X Games Aspen 2015
Men's Ski Slopestyle
On Saturday, the men of Ski Slopestyle competed for their chance at gold. Nick Goepper rose from alternate status to secure the first three-peat in men's Ski Slopestyle since Tanner Hall in 2004. Olympic gold medalist Joss Christensen, shown here with Goepper, took silver, and Alex Bellemare got bronze.
Swede Henrik Harlaut, always a crowd favorite, crashed attempting a triple on the second jump of the Slopestyle course. He suffered a concussion and a right collarbone fracture. That also means that Harlaut is out of Saturday night's GoPro Ski Big Air, where he was the two-time defending champion and a favorite for the gold.
Olympic slopestyle silver medalist Gus Kenworthy is a busy guy this X Games. He's also competing in the finals for Ski SuperPipe. The Slopestyle finals didn't go his way. He crashed attempting a switch triple on the final jump and ended up in seventh position. Good thing he has a second shot at redemption during Sunday's SuperPipe finals.
The 2012 X Games Slopestyle gold medalist Tom Wallisch qualified first for the Slopestyle finals, but failed to put down a clean run on Saturday and ended up in the sixth spot. "Sketchy day at X Games for me," Wallisch tweeted afterward. "Happy to be here shredding with good friends having fun."
Nick Goepper wasn't even supposed to be competing in Ski Slopestyle finals on Saturday -- he finished just outside the qualifying top eight in eliminations earlier in the week. But when Alex Beaulieu-Marchand had to pull out of the finals due to a knee injury sustained in the semifinals, Goepper was the first alternate. Upon hearing that he'd be competing, Geopper says, "I thought I just had to do what I came here to do and practice my runs and try to put down a good one."
Alex Bellemare from Quebec, Canada, qualified in the third position for Saturday's finals and he continued that streak by landing a couple of double 1260s to snag the bronze medal. This marks the 21-year-old's first X Games medal.
Women's Ski Slopestyle
Sweden's Emma Dahlstrm scored her first career X Games medal -- a gold, no less -- in the women's Ski Slopestyle finals on Saturday. She skied without poles and impressed judges with a strong rail section and by spinning both directions on the bottom jumps, including a massive switch 720 on the last feature. Keri Herman took silver, followed by Dara Howell with bronze.
Keri Herman now has three X Games silver medals. Her first from 2010, one from 2011, and now one from 2015. "I don't put too much pressure on myself. I don't plan anything," Herman says. "I try to keep the stress to a minimum and go one day at a time."
Canadian Dara Howell won gold at slopestyle's Olympic debut in Sochi last winter and she delivered again in Aspen by earning the bronze medal. Howell nailed the final two jumps on the course, landing a rodeo 540 and a switch rodeo 720.
Twenty-year-old Anouk Purnelle-Faniel, from Canada, is an X Games rookie and also relatively new to the sport of freeskiing. She started skiing in 2012. She finished in seventh in the women's Ski Slopestyle finals.
Devin Logan, Emma Dahlström
Olympic slopestyle silver medalist Devin Logan, who took fourth place on Saturday, congratulates winner Emma Dahlstrm. Five-time Slopestyle gold medalist Kaya Turski, who's recovering from shoulder surgery, watched the competition from the bottom. "It's so nice to see all the girls throw down," Dahlstrm said. "I'm so happy to be on top today."