Alex Hall celebrating his big air skiing gold medal run at X Games Norway no Aug. 31, 2019 in Oslo, Norway.
Alex Hall began his season in golden fashion Saturday in Oslo, Norway.
Dominating the men’s skiing big air competition in both the finals and qualifying round, Hall, a 2018 Olympian, won his second X Games gold medal of the year when he took the big air skiing gold medal. Big air skiing will make its Olympic debut in 2022.
Hall finished 16th in slopestyle skiing in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, and then had a banner season in 2018-19. He won an X Games gold medal in slopestyle, was second in slopestyle in the Dew Tour and had world cup podium finishes in both slopestyle and big air.
Saturday, he became the first American man to win big air skiing at the X Games since Bobby Brown in 2012.
“It’s huge. I’m so hyped,” he said.
Competing on a 130-foot tall kicker that began above the roof at Telenor Arena, resulting in athletes dropping through the roof, Hall impressed throughout. In qualifying, he hit a day-best score of 91.00 to finish first.
After finals runs of 47.33 and 41.33, featuring a switch left double cork 1440, Hall had clinched the win before even taking his third run, which was nothing more than a victory jump. He won with a final combined score of 88.66 (the best two of three runs are used). Henrik Harlaut of Sweden was second with a score of 83.00, and Alex Beaulieu-Marchand of Canada was third with a score of 79.66.
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Hall was one of four Americans who won medals Saturday.
Also winning a gold medal was skateboarder Ishod Wair, who captured his first X Games victory in men’s skateboard street, an event that will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo next summer. Wair, a 27-year-old who made his X Games debut in 2012 in Los Angeles, scored 82.00 on his first run in the finals. Only one other skateboarder, silver medalist Luan Oliveira of Brazil, was able to hit 80.00.
Wair’s only other X Games medal, a bronze, came in 2016 in Austin.
Mariah Duran won the women’s skateboard street bronze medal with a score of 52.33, giving her five X Games medals for her career. She also finished third at X Games Minneapolis this year. Japan’s Aori Nishimura won with a score of 56.33.
Julia Marino, a 2018 Olympian, won the bronze medal in women’s big air snowboarding. She had runs of 43.00 and 31.66 to total 74.66, but that were not good enough to catch up to gold medalist and 2018 Olympic champion Anna Gasser of Austria, who posted a total score of 86.99. Jamie Anderson, the two-time Olympic gold medalist in slopestyle snowboarding, finished fifth.
On the men’s side, Chris Corning, who won the season-opening big air world cup event last week in New Zealand, nearly made a podium in men’s big air snowboarding, finishing fourth.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.