Julia Marino poses for a portrait during the Team USA Media Summit ahead of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Sept. 27, 2017 in Park City, Utah.
Olympian Julia Marino has launched her way onto a number of podiums in big air competitions in recent years, and on Friday she returned to the top spot in slopestyle snowboarding after a long absence.
Two U.S. men also found top-three positions, with reigning Olympic champion Red Gerard finishing second and Judd Henkes coming in third.
Marino, a 2018 Olympian, claimed her first world cup win in the discipline in almost three years, scoring an 81.30 on her first of two runs to earn the victory in Laax, Switzerland. Japan’s Reira Iwabuchi was 4.35 points back with a score of 76.95 and Great Britain’s Katie Ormerod was a distant third with a best score of 64.20. The U.S. was the only country with two women in the final six. Olympian Hailey Langland finished fifth.
Marino had finished top three in slopestyle just twice before on the world cup circuit, winning an event in Quebec City, Quebec, in February 2017 and taking third at Mammoth Mountain, California, that same month. That’s not to say Marino’s been absent from all podiums in slopestyle. She earned a silver in slopestyle at the Dew Tour stop in December 2018, for instance, but she’s had better results with big air since making her Olympic debut at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Marino was eighth in qualifying for the slopestyle final.
In the men’s competition, Gerard was on his way to victory after posting the top score of the first run with an 85.45, but the reigning Olympic champ in big air, Canada’s Sebastien Toutant, answered with a second-run score of 87.25 that turned out to be the best of the day. Henkes had an 82.33 for third place in a 12-man final that included seven U.S. riders.
This is Gerard’s first world cup podium of the season in slopestyle. He finished second in big air at the start of the season in Cardrona, New Zealand. This is Henkes’ second-ever podium finish one the world cup circuit.