Kyle Mack, who is known for being the first to land a triple cork Japan in competition, is heading to South Korea.
On Saturday, the 20-year-old slopestyle snowboarder won the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain in California in the last U.S. Olympic qualifying event to lead a U.S. podium sweep.
Mack, who was second at the first Olympic qualifier in February 2017, qualified for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, joining Chris Corning and Red Gerard on the combined slopestyle and big air Olympic team. The trio swept the big air world cup podium two months ago in Milan, Italy, marking Mack’s first world cup podium. Big air makes its Olympic debut in PyeongChang, while slopestyle debuted four years ago in Sochi.
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On Saturday, Mack had a rough ride on his first run, scoring just 22.13, but responded in a big way with an 80.63 on his second run to take the lead, and then topped that with on 87.75 on his final run when he landed a triple cork 1440.
Gerard took second with a 79.68 and Brock Crouch was third with a 79.30.
Mack began his competitive career at the age of 7, and by age 15 landed the first-ever frontside triple rodeo 1440 at the O'Neill Evolution in 2013. He won bronze medals in both big air and slopestyle at the 2015 world championships in Kreischberg, Austria.
In 2016, Mack won the U.S. Open to become the first American man to win it since Eric Willett in 2011. The West Bloomfield, Michigan native became the first man to land back-to-back triple corks there.
Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.