As X Games Aspen opened Thursday evening in Colorado, Youth Olympian Hailey Langland demonstrated a cool head that belied 16 years imprinted on the driver’s license she took possession of last month, grabbing gold on her final run in the Aspen debut of women’s big air snowboarding. The event will makes its Olympic debut next year at the PyeongChang Games.
Pushing off with 10 seconds left in the 25-minute jam session competition format, Langland stuck a front double cork 1080 to pull a score of 49 from the judges, making her the first woman to land a double cork in X Games history.
She finished with a two-run total of 66 points, vaulting past Austria’s Anna Gasser to the top of the podium. Gasser has been the rider to beat on this season’s world cup circuit, taking three wins and a second this season to sit atop the standings.
The gold is Langland’s second X Games medal in Aspen after taking slopestyle bronze a year ago. She is sixth in the world cup standings with 1,300 points, just behind a fourth-place tie between teammates Julia Marino and Jamie Anderson, who each have tallied 1,450 points.
Making her X Games Aspen debut, Marino gave Team USA a double podium with her 61 points, good for bronze. Anderson finished fourth Thursday after landing hard on her final attempt.
Americans also picked up two medals in men’s superpipe snowboarding as 2016 champion Matt Ladley scored 80.00 on his second run to earn the silver medal, just ahead of the 79.00 that 2014 Olympian Taylor Gold earned on his second run. Australian Scotty James won gold by scoring 90.00 on the first run of the evening.
Chase Josey, the reigning X Games Oslo bronze medalist, was fourth, followed by 2014 Olympian Danny Davis, 2010 Olympian Louie Vito and 2012 Youth Olympic champion Ben Ferguson. Two-time Olympic champion Shaun White was 11th in the 12-man field.