There must be something about Sierra Nevada, Spain, that brings out the best in Chris Corning. After missing out on a podium finish throughout the 2016-17 world cup season, he burst forth Friday and claimed his second medal of the 2017 world championships, adding a silver in big air to the slopestyle bronze he earned one week ago.
Corning posted a total score of 182.75 to finish 5.5 points behind gold medalist Staale Sandbech of Norway, who earned a score of 188.25. Sandbech and Corning were the only two riders to land cleanly on all three of their jumps in the final. Norwegian Markus Kleveland took the bronze with a 177.25.
Lyon Farrell placed seventh with a score of 121.00, while 2014 Olympian Jessika Jenson was fifth in the women’s competition with a 143.00. Austria’s Anna Gasser posted a perfect score of 100.00 on her final jump to win with a 189.50, more than 24 points ahead of Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi was second at 165.25, while Silje Norendal was third with a 162.75.
Big air snowboarding will make its Olympic debut next February in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
A double podium performance at a world championships is nothing new to Corning, 17, a native of Silverthorne, Colorado. He swept big air and slopestyle gold at the 2016 junior world championships. He enjoyed better success in big air this season, starting the world cup circuit with a pair of top-five finishes. He has two career world cup podiums: a win in Cardrona, New Zealand, two years ago and a second place showing last March in Spindelruv Mlyn, Czech Republic.
Corning’s big air silver gives Team USA nine medals at the freestyle skiing and snowboarding worlds thus far, with three more freestyle events scheduled for the weekend. Ski halfpipe and skicross will be contested Saturday, with Sunday’s ski slopestyle closing out the events.