Oakley Snowboarders Win Nine Medals at Winter X 17; Shaun White Six-Peats in Superpipe
The world’s largest gathering of action sports athletes didn’t disappoint. Once again, as has become tradition at Winter X Games, performance boundaries were broken and the tricktionary was expanded; records were set and new names burst onto the scene. Thick in the historic happenings and memorable moments were our Oakley winter athletes, leading the charge for where their respective sports will be going in the coming years.
For the sixth consecutive year it was Shaun White who put the exclamation point on another phenomenal Winter X. A dominating performance in the Superpipe, highlighted by a record 24.1-foot air, resulted in his sixth consecutive Gold Medal in the event and his 23rd X Games medal overall.
“I’m honored to ride with such great talent, those guys crush,” White said. “The reason the 6-peat means so much to me is not about winning but because it speaks to my ability to stay on top of a sport that’s ever-changing— that’s ultimately my goal.”
The closest thing to a challenge for White came from an 8th grader from Japan. Ayumu Hirano, though just 14 and in his first X Games, laid down a run so smooth with airs so big that the snowboarding and action sports communities certainly will take notice. He stunning performance won him a Silver Medal.
Over the course of four days, beyond White’s and Hirano’s Superpipe medals, Oakley snowboarders were on the podium on seven other occasions, which included three Gold medals. Overall, Oakley athletes won 20 medals between snowboarding, skiing and snowmobiling.
While Slopestyle was positioned by ESPN as the epic showdown between White and 19-year-old Canadian Mark McMorris, the story turned out to be the utter dominance of the Canadian. While White struggled with his runs, McMorris was almost flawless in both Eliminations and the Finals, posting a 98 in his winning run, which included a backside triple cork 1440s and a cab double cork 1260. It was the single highest Slopestyle score in X Games history.
“I came here to do the cab 12 and I just felt like it needed to be done. The course was too good not to do that run,” McMorris said. “I felt really solid about my riding. I’m just glad it all worked out and everybody stayed safe. I landed a run I don’t think I’ve ever done."
Max Parrot, another young Canadian who’s still building his international profile, announced himself with force – winning Silver behind McMorris.
Though McMorris was able to defend his Slopestyle title from 2012, he didn’t have the same success in Big Air despite landing a never-before-landed-in-competition cab triple underflip 1440 on his final run. Torstein Horgmo landed the first-ever switch backside triple cork 1440 in competition, for a perfect 50. Read the full story.
In women’s snowboarding, the newest addition to the Oakley family made a stellar first impression. Jamie Anderson has been one of the most dominant women in Slopestyle since winning her first X Games medal in 2006, and continued that streak on the course again, laying down a solid all-around run, capped by a big cab 720, and won her fourth Gold Medal and seventh medal overall.
“I really wanted to come into here and get the balance of my energy; it’s pretty hectic [at X Games] with everything going on,” Anderson explained. “I just wanted to put down a solid first run and do my best. I’m just so thankful to be here. I’m really inspired to learn more new tricks, have better style and enjoy the journey.”
The ninth and final snowboarding medal came from an unexpected yet very deserving source: 16-year-old Canadian Arielle Gold in Superpipe. The X Games rookie shocked the field by landing some big, technical tricks and held on for the Bronze Medal.
“I am still in complete shock,” Gold said. “I went from being an alternate in the event to getting on the podium, and I couldn’t be happier. I have looked up to these girls ever since I started snowboarding, so to be on the podium with them is a dream come true.”
Congratulations to all of the Oakley snowboarding medalists on a phenomenal showing at Winter X Games 17.