Horgmo, McMorris and Sandbech Put on an Historic Triplefest in X Games Big Air

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“It was just f**king amazing to be a part of what just happened tonight,” said Torstein Horgmo, a gold X Games medal dangling from his neck, and still slightly winded after the 18-minute jam session Big Air final.

Trailing Oakley teammates Stale Sandbech and defending gold medalist Mark McMorris throughout the final, Horgmo – who won the event in 2011 – had one last chance to land the move he believed would be the difference-maker: the switch backside triple cork 1440, a trick he landed for the first time a week before coming to Aspen and one that had never been landed in competition.

Sandbech, who was sitting in first at the time with a total score of 91, had called it a night with time remaining after landing all the tricks he’d hoped to land.

“I had two tricks that I wanted to do: the backside triple with an Indy grab and a frontside 14, and I did them both first try. After that, I just had to stop. I was too pumped, I didn’t have anything else to do. If I would have gone up there, I would have tried something stupid and I didn’t want to do that,” Sandbech explained. “I knew Mark and Torstein could come and take it and they did – and I’m stoked!”

Take it, they did. Horgmo stomped his trick, and received a perfect 50 for the momentous jump. Before he could get too comfortable or celebrate too much, McMorris came flying off the jump and smoothly landed a cab triple underflip 1440, another never-before-landed-in-competition trick. His score of 48 tied him with Horgmo for first, but Horgmo perfect 50 was the difference and the podium was set.

“Torstein is a boss! What can I say,” McMorris said. “He just absolutely changed the game of snowboarding, and I’m very, very glad I could be a part of it.”

The response to the evening of historic landings stretched outside just snowboarding. Athletes from almost every winter discipline, men and women, had some sort of praise and awe for what the trio of snowboarding friends accomplished.

“My mind is still blown! That was insane!! #snowboardbigair” wrote snowboarder Kim Lamarre on Twitter.

“CRAzIEST session I’ve ever seen hands down!! XGames snowboard big air was On another planet #mindblown!” freeskier Sammy Carlson (sammycskiing) tweeted.

What this means is that the performance boundaries of snowboarding – and almost every discipline at X Games – are still expanding. Halldor Helgason, who had a brutal spill after over-rotating his own triple, nearly accidentally landed a quad. Is that what’s next?

“Who knows? It just feels amazing to be apart of a final like this. I think we’re all winners here. I didn’t set out to beat anybody but myself tonight, and I was able to do what I came to do so I’m just stoked about that.”