Turski and Harlaut Successfully Defend Winter X Gold Medals; Ski Team Wins 5 Medals
Kaya Turski isn’t the type of person to settle. When she tore her ACL in August, her fans and sponsors probably would have understood if the 25-year-old Canadian chose to sit out the Olympics in order to recover. That’s not Kaya. She opted for a revolutionary ACL surgery, trained and rehabbed and made a surprise return to competition a week before Winter X Games. She locked up her spot on the Canadian team heading to Sochi and then came to Aspen and proved that there’s no post-injury nerves or rust. She was the Kaya Turski who has established herself as the most dominant and progressive women’s Slopestyle skier the sport has seen.
“It’s been a crazy week. It’s been a crazy journey,” said Turski, who won her fourth X Games gold medal. "I couldn’t believe it when I blew my knee five months ago, but here I am. I just tried to keep everything clean, just get my flow back, get it back in the zone, and it paid off.”
Joining Turski on the podium were a pair of Oakley teammates, 15-year-old Maggie Voisin and Kim Lamarre. With her silver medal-winning showing, Voisin became the youngest skier to medal at X Games. She’ll be representing the USA in Russia, while Lamarre will be competing alongside Turski for Canada.
The Oakley podium sweep was one of three at Winter X and among 18 medals won by Oakley athletes, all of whom, except one (13-year-old snowboarder Chloe Kim) will be competing at the Winter Olympics in two weeks time.
Henrik Harlaut will be representing Sweden in Slopestyle, but it was his dominance in Big Air that garnered the headlines in Aspen. The defending gold medalist was as smooth and technical as ever, landing each of his jumps in the 18-minute jam session final. Harlaut pulled out the same nose butter triple cork 1620 that helped him win last year, for the highest score of the night, and backed it up with a switch tail butter double cork 1080 double grab.
“It feels awesome [to win Big Air again]. I’m stoked to make it through the night without falling a single time. It really couldn’t have gone any better,” Harlaut said. “I learned a new trick, the switch butter dub, just two days ago and I did it tonight with a blunt grab. It was the best trick I’ve ever done, or my favorite at least.”
Kai Mahler was on the podium for a second consecutive year, winning the bronze medal. Alex Schlopy qualified for the final, but had to pull out due to an injury.