Tanner Hall and Grete Eliassen win Gold at Winter X
The Winter X Games ended on an exceptionally high note this year. Both Tanner Hall and Grete Eliassen stole gold in dramatic and competitive endings. The women’s ski halfpipe competition didn’t look very promising during practice. A storm rolled through causing the pipe to be very slow and difficult to carry speed. Once the finals started, Eliassen proved she could dominate the halfpipe in any conditions, throwing huge airs and spins. For the second year in a row, Eliassen took the gold at X. She also just recently took the gold for the 3rd time in a row in slopestyle at the US Open, showing the exceptional versatility in her skiing.
Men’s halfpipe qualifiers took the same stage with a sticky pipe and bad visibility. Despite a painful back injury, Simon Dumont boosted his usual breathtaking air and nailed his run which secured him a spot in finals. However, the guy to watch was Tanner Hall who flawlessly executed his first run and qualified with a score far above the others.
Weather cleared for men’s halfpipe finals under the lights in Aspen and that set the stage for an exceptionally exciting and emotional battle. Simon Dumont returned to the pipe in excruciating pain. He was barely able to walk after reinjuring his back after recently recovering from a broken pelvis and torn spleen. In a truly inspirational attempt, Simon proved his drive, skill and dedication throwing down a huge 540 truckdriver and an incredible 2nd run placing himself 3rd with a 90 point score behind Laurant Favre. However, Tanner Hall gave it his all sitting in 5th place after his first attempt. He executed a perfect run which incorporated one of the most unique cork 9’s ever seen placing him on top with a score that the others could not beat. After coming off of a long and painful recovery from two broken ankles at Chad’s Gap last spring, Hall almost had to forfeit the XGames this year. But through determination and dedication during his recovery, he proved to the world that it takes more than that to take him down. In the end, Tanner Hall won his first X Games halfpipe gold and added to his other 4 X Games medals. He proved once again that he is one of the most talented and versatile skiers in the world and is here to stay.