School's in, so Zimmermann's out of Slopestyle
TIGNES, France -- When the Women's Ski Slopestyle finals at X Games Tignes, initially scheduled for Wednesday, were postponed a day because of stormy conditions and poor visibility, it was welcome news to most of the women's field.
But for one athlete, 17-year-old German freeskier Lisa Zimmermann, the delay meant she wouldn't have a chance to compete at all. Because of the date change, Zimmermann was forced to pull out of the contest because of a final exam she's scheduled to take.
"I have a final oral English test on Friday and my school won't allow me to stay here any longer," Zimmermann told XGames.com on Wednesday, on her way home to Germany. "It's a bummer, but I really want to finish school now."
Although she's never competed at X Games before, Zimmermann was already primed to be a favorite in Ski Slopestyle this week at X Games Tignes.
Zimmermann, a former figure skater, has been turning heads recently with some groundbreaking tricks in women's skiing. While training in November 2012, she became the first female to land a double cork 1260. On March 16, she won Nine Queens, an all-women big air contest in Austria, with the first double cork 1260 landed in a women's contest, and earlier this month, she also won the Austrian Open. She's attempted the double cork 1260 just seven times, and landed it four of those attempts. She said she was considering attempting the trick in Tignes.
But the weather will render that impossible for this year. British skier Katie Summerhayes, who was the first alternate, will take Zimmermann's place in the finals.
On Wednesday, several of the female athletes, including three-time X Games Tignes champion Kaya Turski, encouraged organizers to delay the contest because they were worried about the condition of the course in the blizzard-like weather.
"I'm really content that they postponed the contest," said Turski, who will be going for a Tignes four-peat on Thursday. "I was one of the ones pushing the organizers to postpone the event. I was thinking about the safety of myself and the other girl competitors and the overall progression of the sport."
Turski, who's from Montreal, said she was looking forward to the challenge of competing alongside Zimmermann.
"I'm sorry to hear that Lisa can't compete," Turski said from the Hotel Diva in Tignes. "Lisa is probably the only person that can do the dub 12, which is huge. It definitely makes all of us think about what we need to be doing. It pushes me to work on what I'm doing. I'm excited for her to get the chance to compete."