Peckham BMX Film | How a Local London BMX Club Became a National Sensation

The founder of Peckham BMX has an MBE and the club have a World Championship medal, but community values and a focus on youngsters remain at the core of the project

Peckham BMX Club began in South East London back in 2004. They started with an old, out-of-use track called the Bird in Bush and only four kids in the club.

In 2008 Peckham BMX would become the number one club in the United Kingdom. In 2014 local Peckham rider Tre Whyte would finish third in the BMX racing World Championships in Rotterdam, behind only legendary 2012 Olympic silver-medallist Sam Willoughby and Canadian Tory Nyhaug.

In 2016 head coach and founder Michael Pusey, aka radio DJ, TV presenter and entrepreneur Ck Flash, was awarded an MBE by the Queen of England for his services to young people in sport and BMX.

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Michael Pusey, the founder and head coach of Peckham BMX club. Photo: Perception Films / Screenshot

The rise of Peckham BMX from a small local group to a nationally renowned club has been monumental – but through all that, it’s still the friendly people, the local pride and the emphasis on getting kids onto bikes and into a safe environment that defines the club and gives it meaning.

And that’s exactly what director Tom Pickard and Perception Films have managed to show in their new short feature from Peckham BMX.

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Race night at Peckham BMX Club. Photo: Perception Films / Screenshot

Chatting to Michael Pusey and Nigel Whyte, father of both international rider Tre Whyte and and Kye Whyte, a nine times British Champion, the film explores what the club is all about.

“It’s not always about the best track and the best equipment it’s about a mentality that you instil into the youngsters,” Pusey says. “It brought the whole community together and since then there’s been no stopping us.”

peckham bmx club

Peckham BMX club. Photo: Perception Films / Screenshot

Kye adds: “I do have friends that are just wandering the streets doing nothing and BMX has kept me away from that. The club has taught me to respect my elders and respect my parents. It’s given me a better lifestyle.”

It’s an inspirational story and one that hits home on all sorts of levels.

Film directed by Tom Pickard, camera work by Daniel Jaroschik, sound by Chen Wissotzky and edit by Jack Padgham / Tom Pickard.

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24 Winter Olympics Puns That Are Snow Bad They’re Good

The speed skaters refused to spend much money on equipment. Cheapskates.

Winter Olympic puns 2

Rowan Coultas, Great Britain, during the snowboard slopestyle practice on the 7th February 2018 at Phoenix Snow Park for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea

Winter Olympics puns! It’s a little known fact that the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang were specifically organised so that they would coincide with the UK’s National Pun Day – an under-publicised event which takes place each year on 12 February – and a day which the International Olympic Committee are incredibly, possibly surprisingly, keen to raise the profile of.

We love the Winter Olympics. From the jaw-dropping skills of the slopestyle and halfpipe to the excitement of the ski cross and boardercross. And this year we have the go-big-or-go-home draw of the snowboard big air as well!

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Ayumu Hirano, Japan, during mens Snowboard Halfpipe Qualifications Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018 © Sam Mellish

One thing we love just as much as the Winter Olympics, conveniently enough, is making terrible puns. So without further ado, here are 24.

1) I’m expecting to see Kim-Jung Un competing in the snowboarding in Pyeongchang. Heard he’s got board and fancies a Korea change.

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Kim Jong Un on the pipe. Original photo by Sam Mellish.

2) I went bob-sleighing the other day. Killed 73 Bobs.

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3) The Olympic skiing started really well but it was all downhill from there.

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Lauberhorn Race Ski Race Downhill Skiing World Cup.

4) You: “…And that’s how they made hockey a Winter Olympic sport”.

Me: “Icy”.

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Team USA face Slovakia in Sochi at the Winter Olympics. Photo: Wiki Commons.

5) It turns out when the Russians said “dope” they weren’t just pretending to be cool in front of the snowboarders.

Redmond Gerard, USA, snowboard slopestyle practice © Sam Mellish

Redmond Gerard, USA, snowboard slopestyle practice on the 8th February 2018 at Phoenix Snow Park for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea

6) Fourth place in the Olympic luge? You win some, you luge some.

luge-yourself-to-the-music-winter-olympic-puns

You better luge yourself in the music, the moment, You own it, you better never let it go. Photo: Wiki Commons.

7) I’m a huge fan of Skeleton Bob. I liked Living Bob too, but he’s really mellowed out since he died and lost his flesh.

winter olympic puns skeleton bob

Our friend, and yours, skeleton Bob. Photo: Wiki Commons.

8) Did you hear about the powerful journalist and producer competing in the freestyle skiing? She was a real media mogul.

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The media mogul. Photo: Wiki Commons.

9) I went to the Winter Olympics with 3,000 cans of Tresemme. Turns out Big Hair isn’t one of the events.

tresemme-winter-olympic-puns

10) Did you hear Dolly Parton was angry she had to compete in the Olympics? She was a cross country skier.

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11) People said the man with a million radiators was ruining the figure skating but he was just trying to break the ice.

figure-skating-1-winter olympic puns

12) An American whistleblower was planning to attend the Winter Olympics but in the end he couldn’t because he was Snowden.

snowed-in-pun winter olympics

13) My favourite Winter Olympic event is the one where two opposing teams go on the ice, pass the puck to each other, pay each other compliments, and make everyone involved feel really good about themselves. Nice hockey.

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The women’s Canadian team win nice hockey at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Photo: Wiki Commons.

14) Why can’t Shaun White listen to vinyl at the Olympics? He already broke all the records.

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Shaun White. Photo: Screenshot from men’s qualifying in Pyeongchang.

15) We lost our curling stone while playing a secret game of curling in a carpet shop. It got swept under the rug.

curling-1 winter olympic puns

16) The snow melted in Pyeongchang when the Winter Olympics were finished. All the fans had left.

Winter Olympic puns 6

Spectators during the women’s halfpipe finals at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018 at Phoenix Snow Park, South Korea © Sam Mellish

17) My friend has bought three snowboards and now he can’t stop. He’s on a very slippery slope.

Winter Olympic puns 7

Emily Arthur, Australia, the women’s halfpipe finals at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018 at Phoenix Snow Park, South Korea © Sam Mellish

18) Officials: “What have you been doing?! Have you been smoking weed again?”

Snowboarder, pointing: “Halfpipe”.

Winter Olympic puns 5

Chloe Kim, USA, during the women’s halfpipe finals at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018 at Phoenix Snow Park, South Korea © Sam Mellish

19) Staff of the local wine shop were baffled after their customers insisted they were told it was “all about the triple corks” in Pyeongchang.

Winter Olympic puns 2

Rowan Coultas, Great Britain, during the snowboard slopestyle practice on the 7th February 2018 at Phoenix Snow Park for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea

20) It was unfortunate the ice hockey competition had to stop because of a lack of equipment. They were all out of puck.

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Team USA face Slovakia in Sochi at the Winter Olympics. Photo: Wiki Commons.

21) The hungover snowboarder got the chairlift to the start line. It was just the lift she needed.

Winter Olympic puns 4

Cai Xuetong, China, during the women’s halfpipe finals at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018 at Phoenix Snow Park, South Korea © Sam Mellish

22) Famous wrestler Steve Austin, shocked after picking up a cool curling stone from the ice: “Stone cold!”

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Steve Austin, Warm. Pictured with Stone, Cold.

23) A rock-star ice hockey player wants his goaltender to pass the puck to the winger. He shouts: “Stick it to the man!”

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Team USA face Slovakia in Sochi at the Winter Olympics. Photo: Wiki Commons.

24) The Speed Skaters refused to spend much money on equipment. Cheapskates.

2014_winter_olympics_short_track_speed_skating_-_womens_1000_metres_quarterfinals puns

Photo: Wiki Commons.

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Ones to Watch | Freestyle Skiing Medal Contenders at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Medal contenders and favourites for ski halfpipe, slopestyle and ski cross at the Winter Olympics

Ones to Watch | Freestyle Skiing Medal Contenders at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Ones to Watch | Freestyle Skiing Medal Contenders at the 2018 Winter Olympics, Photo: Jorg Angeli

Who are the medal contenders for freestyle skiing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang? There are quite a few disciplines of freestyle skiing but we’re going to focus on three in particular – the ski slopestyle, the ski halfpipe, and the ski cross, all of which are among the most exciting sports in the Winter Games.

If you’re looking for a bit more information on what exactly each one of these disciplines is, you might want to check out our in depth guide to each, put together in the lead up to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. You can find each of them at their respective links below:

Now let’s get on with the freestyle skiing predictions!

Winter Olympic Slopestyle Skiing

Belgian snowboarder Stef Vandeweyer tweaking for his life in Pyeongcang during the snowboard slopestyle. Photo: Sam Mellish

Belgian snowboarder Stef Vandeweyer tweaking for his life in Pyeongcang during the snowboard slopestyle. Photo: Sam Mellish

The Winter Olympic slopestyle skiing is the event that pits the freestyle skiers against each other on a course made of rails and a range of kickers. We know the photo above is of a snowboarder, but, c’mon, it’s from Pyeongchang and it’s an incredible shot from our man on the ground, Sam Mellish.

The contest is judged on style, difficulty of run, execution and the skill involved. The skier who gets the best score for an individual run in finals takes the gold medal.

Who are the Favourites and Medal Contenders for Slopestyle Skiing?

Ski slopestyle what is favourites medal contendors Oystein Braaten

Oystein Braaten in action.

Norwegian sensation Oystein Braaten is one of the hot favourites for the men’s slopestyle, as is the ever popular Swedish skier Henrik Harlaut, whose declaration that “Wu-Tang is for the children” made him a household name (however briefly) after being interviewed at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Harlaut comes into Pyeongchang having just won the 2018 X Games slopestyle with a strong, technical yet brilliantly smooth run.

American skier Gus Kenworthy has a great shot at a medal too. Kenworthy came out as gay last year and has been using the Olympics as a platform for LGBT rights as well, so he’ll have a lot of people cheering him on. He got a silver medal back at Sochi, and he’ll want another one now.

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Gus Kenworthy, left, being a top guy. Photo: Instagram Screenshot

USA’s Nick Goepper, Austrian Ferdinand Dahl and Swiss skier Andri Ragettli are also in with a chance, while Team GB’s James Woods will be an outside shot for Great Britain.

Woodsy claimed the first gold of the 2017-18 FIS Slopestyle season in Cardrona, New Zealand in August 2017, but the four since have seen Oystein Braaten pick up one gold and two silver medals. Of course, these stats always need taken with a pinch of salt as not all Olympic athletes would always be in attendance and conditions change everything!

In the women’s slopestyle Norwegian Johanne Killi and Sweden’s Jennie-Lee Burmansson are possibly the two front-runners, while French woman Tess Ledeux, American Maggie Voisin and Norway’s Tirill Sjaastad Christiansen are also in with a great podium shot.

Voisin won the recent 2018 slopestyle at the X Games so will be hoping to convert that to an Olympic gold and seems to have hit form at just the right time.

“Swiss athletes Sarah Hoefflin and Mathlide Gremaud both have a double cork in their bag”

Swiss athletes Sarah Hoefflin and Mathlide Gremaud will be confident after strong recent X Games results as well, and Team GB’s Katie Summerhayes is an outside shot for Britain.

Sjaastad Christansen, Killi, Ledeux and Murmansson all have a gold medal from the 2017-2018 FIS campaign, but the Swede Burmansson’s record reads as the most consistent. She’s only missed out on one podium place from the five events so far, with one gold, two silvers and a bronze.

What will it take to win slopestyle skiing?

To win the slopestyle skiing you’ll need the perfect combination of style and skill, with difficult tricks executed perfectly.

Several of the top woman are now including double corked tricks into their runs, meaning the winning run may feature at least one of these on the big final kickers. A double cork is a twisting double backflip where you have to spin around at least three times.

Swiss athletes Sarah Hoefflin and Mathlide Gremaud both have a double cork in their bag and have proven it in competition. Hoefflin won the 2018 Big Air X Games and Germaud took that same prize in 2017.

Voisin’s winning slopestyle run at the 2018 X Games, however, did not include a double cork. It included a stylish rail section, a right-sided 900 tail grab, a switch 900 and a rodeo 900 to finish. It was steady and it was enough to give Voisin the competition.

Triple corks really started taking off in men’s skiing after Sochi 2014 and you’ll be seeing a few of those in the men’s game.

It’s unlikely there will be a quad cork, but Fabian Boesch has a triple corked 1980 (three full flips and five and a half rotations) in his locker for Big Air, and Slopestyle tricks are quickly catching up to this.

On the men’s rails expect tricks which include the skiers tricking both and off the rails. You could get someone hitting a switch left 270 onto the rail, and a backside 360 off, for example.

Harlaut won X Games slopestyle with a run scoring 93. It included a very smooth rail section, a switch right side double corked 1080, a switch triple cork 1260 and a nose butter double cork 12 tailgrab to finish.

For more information on slopestyle ski terms and what each trick means in more detail click here!

Winter Olympic Halfpipe Skiing

halfpipe favourites pyeongchang 2018 winter olympics sochi-2014-slope-style-finals0574-featured-image-nick-atkins What is Olympic Halfpipe? | Winter Olympic Guide and Preview For Pyeongchang 2018

Photo: The Sochi Winter Olympics halfpipe.

The Winter Olympic halfpipe skiing challenges skiers to do the best tricks possible in one run down the halfpipe. The contest is again judged on style, air, skill, execution and the difficulty of the run, and whoever comes out with the best score from the judges for an individual run in the final gets the gold medal.

Who are the Favourites and Medal Contenders for Halfpipe Skiing?

Team USA have a serious chance of doing a clean sweep of medals in the men’s halfpipe skiing in Pyeongchang.

The bookmakers are putting the favourites as Americans David Wise (reigning gold medallist), Alex Ferreira and reigning world champion Aaron Blunck. It also wouldn’t be a surprise to see US skier Torin Yater-Wallace on the podium or even wearing gold, having placed first in the Olympic test event back in the 16/17 season.

The Canadian crew including Noah Bowman, Mike Riddle and Simon D’Artois will be doing their best to stop that happening, but it is likely to be an all-North American affair.

The FIS Halfpipe World Cup has had five stops so far this year and Americans have won four of them. David Wise has won two gold medals and Alex Ferreira has taken one gold and two silvers.

“Thomas Krief is actually the only non-North American to win a FIS stop this year”

French freeskier Kevin Rolland is possibly the biggest threat to the North American dominance of this event. He’s got a whole host of medals already in his locker including X-Games golds from 2010, 2011 and 2016 – and fellow Frenchman Thomas Krief is actually the only non-North American to win a FIS stop this year, coming back from injury to take the gold in the first ever halfpipe competition in Beijing on 22 December.

Cassie Sharpe of Canada and Brita Sigourney of the USA are the favourites for the women’s halfpipe skiing, but the women’s event is likely to be more internationally contested than the men’s. Expect Marie Martinod of France to be right in the mix.

Maddie Bowman from the USA will have podium hopes as well, having won the gold in Sochi, as will Kexin Zhang from China and Yurie Watabe from Japan. Maddie Bowman recently won the 2018 X Games halfpipe, so while her last Olympic gold was a full four years ago now, she’s still on top of her game.

The FIS results so far show two golds for Cassie Sharpe, Brita Sigourney with a gold and a silver, Marie Martinod with one and Zhang Kevin with the win in Beijing.

What will it take to win halfpipe skiing?

To win the halfpipe skiing you’ll need to throw down a run which shouts style, shows variation, and – a point which annoys some people – likely has a whole lot of spins in it.

Let’s look at exactly what won the X Games superpipe in 2018 – a great way to give you an idea of what to expect.

American Maddie Bowman was the champion in the women’s category. Bowman started off her run with a clean U-grab, into a left-side 540 with a grab, a right side 720, into a switch left 900, into a right 540, into a left 900 with a grab and right 900 to finish.

The switch 900 was the standout trick in that run – and nailing a 900 with a grab was impressive as well.

In the men’s event, David Wise was the man to beat. His X Games-winning run included a huge drop in to switch (riding backwards), a switch double cork 1080 (right side), a double cork 12 (left side, with grab), a right side 1080, a switch double cork 1080 (left), and ended with a right side 1260.

Two different double corks, both done each way (left and right). It was a history making run.

What you can see from all this is that yes, the bigger the better, but variation is as important as sending it big as well.

For more information on halfpipe ski terms and what each trick means in more detail click here!

Winter Olympic Ski Cross

Ski Cross favourites and medal contenders What Are Ski Cross and Boardercross? | Winter Olympic Event Guide and Preview For PyeongChang 2018

Men’s Ski Cross in Lillehammer 2016. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Ski cross is one of the most accessible sports at the Winter Olympic Games. The sport sees four skiers released down a single course (made from tight corners, jumps and rollers) at the same time, and the fastest two skiers from each race qualify for the next round.

This format continues until four skiers eventually end up in the final, and from there, the fastest skier takes the gold medal. Second gets silver, third gets bronze, and fourth place in the final goes home with nothing. It’s exciting stuff.

Who are the Favourites and Medal Contenders for Ski Cross?

medal contenders and favourites freestyle skiing ski cross fis_ski_cross_world_cup_2015_-_megeve_-_20150313_-_marc_bischoefberger

Swiss skier and 2018 medal hope Marc Bischofberger. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Ski cross is typically a European affair. Marc Bischofberger of Switzerland has a great shot at gold, as does Frenchman Jean Frederic Chapuis. Chapuis took the gold medal in Sochi as France claimed a sweep of the medals, and he’ll be hoping to retain it in Pyeongchang.

Alex Fiva is another Swiss hope, and Victor Oehling Norberg and Paul Eckert will be hoping to do the goods for Sweden and Germany as well.

Bischofberger has taken home three gold medals in the FIS World Cup (out of a possible nine) since the new season got started in December. Eckert is the most recent winner after his gold in Nakiska, Canada, and Chapuis took gold in Idre, Sweden before that.

We’d also never rule out Canadian skier Brady Leman. We spoke to Brady recently about his experience at the Sochi Games, where he finished fourth in the final of the ski cross, and he’s coming back to the event now with more experience and just as hungry as he was four years ago.

FIS World Cup, Ski Cross. Image shows Brady Leman (CAN). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Oliver Lerch

FIS World Cup, Ski Cross. Image shows Brady Leman (CAN). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Oliver Lerch

In the women’s category, Swede Sandra Näslund is the one to beat, and is a hot favourite going into the ski cross.

Sandra has come on leaps and bounds since her fifth-place finish in Sochi. She became Sweden’s first world champion in ski cross when she won the FIS World Championships in 2017, and she’ll be hoping that translates to the Olympics this year.

As far as the 2017-18 ski cross season goes, Näslund has been absolutely dominant. She’s won seven events (again, out of a possible nine) since the start of December, only losing out to Fanny Smith of Switzerland in Arosa (which is in Switzerland) and to Germany’s Heidi Zacher in Innichen, Italy. She then competed again in Innichen the following day and won.

“As far as the 2017-18 ski cross season goes, Näslund has been absolutely dominant”

Behind Näslund, the podium favourites will be Heidi Zacher and Fanny Smith, though Mariell Berger Sabbatel of France will be confident of a medal too after taking two second place spots in FIS events in January.

It would be a shock to see any of them take the win ahead of Näslund, but ski cross is a discipline where crashes happen, and those crashes can take favourites out with them, so you never know how it’s going to go.

What will it take to win ski cross?

You need speed to win the ski cross. After all, it’s ultimately a racing event. There are no prizes for style or for tricks on the jumps. But despite all of that, speed probably isn’t as important as tactics and course management.

One of the most important moments in any ski cross race is the starting gate. If you’re the fastest out of the starting gates, then you’re at the front of the four skiers and in the best possible position to block your competitors from overtaking. Often the fastest person out the gate wins the race.

Of course, if you are first, then you still need to be able to pick the fastest lines, to prevent your rivals overtaking, and to maintain your speed over the jumps. If you’re not the fastest out the gates, you need to know where to overtake, and how to do it without crashing or causing a crash.

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Jamie Anderson Wins Gold | Women’s 2018 Olympic Snowboard Slopestyle Report

The women’s slopestyle snowboarding final was not what it could have been

snowboarding-pyeongchang-winter-olympics-2018-jamie-andersonimg_5585

After history pretty much repeated itself in the men’s slopestyle finals yesterday – the underdog American rider putting down a creative masterpiece to take the gold from the Norwegian and Canadian favourites – now we can see if it’ll go the same way for the women’s contest. Their Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic journey starts…. now!

Denied a qualifying round by yesterday’s strong headwind, the finals will feature all 27 riders competing with two runs each. Basically, the original qualifying round, but with all to play for.

“Can Anderson defend the gold and the American top-spot domination? Or can the Austrian take it to her in the finals?”

Whilst we’re a long way from seeing the same technical triple dips in this field, the last couple of years have seen double flips and corks entering the women’s competition repertoire, with Anna Gasser and Jamie Anderson leading the charge.

They were also the arguable favourites to take it – could Anderson defend the gold and the American top-spot domination? Or could the Austrian learn from the last games and take it to her in the finals?

Would Hailey Langland take her enviable style and technicality all the way down the course? Or would the riders take note of the extra marks for using the full course from the men’s heats? Read on to find out!

Once again the event site was plagued by the bad wind that had caused trouble in the men’s contest and had caused the abandonment of the qualifiers. The kind of wind that puts the fear of God into riders hitting jumps and Trump’s bouffant.

Jamie Anderson practising for the comp in fairer weather earlier this week. Photo: Sam Mellish

Jamie Anderson practising for the comp in fairer weather earlier this week. Photo: Sam Mellish

Finals

It was a final where experience definitely paid off, and it was telling that the most veteran rider in the field, Silvia Mittermueller, packed it in and rode down the side of the course with her backpack before her first run.

The same headwinds that had caused the qualifiers to be cancelled plagued every rider here, and there will no doubt be discussions for years as to whether or not the event should have gone ahead.

The Olympics aren’t a snowboard event with big weather windows, and with international TV schedules controlling start times, it’s almost a miracle that the weather hasn’t played a factor like this in any previous games.

For the riders that signed up for this it’s something you’d think they must have known in advance, but nonetheless, it was very, very sad to watch it go down knowing full well that this was far from the potential that women’s slopestyle has. It was remarkable that no one was seriously injured.

It was as windy assholes today

It was as windy assholes today

“It was very, very sad to watch the contest go down, knowing full well that this was far from the potential that women’s slopestyle has”

  1. Jamie Anderson (USA) – 83.00
  2. Laurie Blouin (CAN) – 76.33
  3. Enni Rukajarvi (FIN) – 75.38
  4. Silje Norendal (NOR) – 73.91
  5. Jessika Jenson (USA) – 72.26
  6. Hailey Langland (USA) – 71.80
  7. Sina Candrian (SUI) – 66.35
  8. Sofya Fedorova (OAR) – 65.73
  9. Yuka Fujimori (JPN) – 63.73
  10. Elena Koenz (SUI) – 59.00

Most riders didn’t put down a whole run, though plenty could have come close to threatening the podium. Isabel Derungs, Yuka Fujimori, Julia Marino and Anna Gasser all could have had their moment in the sun were it not for severe gusting wrecking their jumps.

A favourite coming into the event, Gasser attempted one of two doubles – a cab dub under – on her first run but squirrelled out on the landing. On the second, much windier run she opted for a single underflip but with the wind unexpectedly dropping on the second kicker she went massive on a frontside 720 and was unable to ride out of it. a slight consolation prize – her gapped cab 270-on on the second rail was the highest single scoring trick of the day, and deservedly so.

Kiwi rookie Zoi Sadowski Synnott was another standout that could have challenged the podium, but had to pull out of the first kicker in run two. Nonetheless, she put down one of the most bolts double backflips we’ve seen in women’s snowboarding on the last kicker, just for the crowds. This surely won’t be the last we see of her.

Whilst there were a fair few faces of thunder – Spencer O’Brien looked particularly unhappy about the state of affairs, and we’re sure we’ll hear more from her soon – a handful of riders made the best of it and went it blazing.

Hailey Langland was notable in that many had predicted that her slight frame would make it hard to keep speed, though she proved us wrong and stomped a sick corked front three with a frontside to mute grab into a backside 540 and cab 540.

These were good jumps for the conditions, and if she’d attempted some more tech tricks on the rails she probably would have tickled the podium, instead opting for some flowy-but-basic combos up top.

Hailey Langland's corked-out front 360 indl-to-mute, a definite highlight for us

Hailey Langland’s corked-out front 360 to mute, a definite highlight for us

She was only one of five women to best their scores with clean second runs – Sofya Fedorova was impressive but could only make eighth overall, a straight backflip and some early-offs on the rails costing her, and Elena Koenz sneaked into the top ten, playing it very safe to get a clean score on the board.

“Jamie Anderson looked as relaxed as if she was dropping into a blue piste, putting down the winning run on her first go”

Although this definitely wasn’t the show we or the riders deserved, perhaps the saving grace was that there was no doubt that the best rider won. Jamie Anderson looked as relaxed as if she was dropping into a blue run and put down the winning run on her first go and from top-to-bottom, it was the best of the day.

Going boardslide 270-out, a stalefish frontside transfer off the bigger hip take off (the only woman to do so), frontlip-fakie and switch boardslide 270-out on the top section, she was the only rider to score above a seven for every feature.

She opened the jumps with a cheeky switch backside 180 into her trademark backside 540 before attempting a cab double underflip on jump two. Something was wrong with either the takeoff or the wind, but she miraculously opened it up and turned it into a single flip, landing it confidently enough to boost a massive frontside 720 into the finish area.

It wasn’t much of an improvement on her Sochi run, but given the conditions it was nothing short of miraculous, and absolutely deserved a second gold medal.

Jamie Anderson pyeongchang olympics snowboard slopestyle

Jamie Anderson wrestling a back 540 through the wind

After an absolute shitshow of a second round, with a lot of questions already being asked about the wisdom of continuing to contest into 40km/h winds blowing all over the place, 21-year-old Laurie Blouin managed to wrestle together a frontside boardslide, boardslide through the double kink, backside 720, frontside 540 and cab underflip, and with a big black eye from practise showing at the finish couldn’t have looked more Canadian if she’d tried.

The only fresh face on the podium, she looks like she’ll have the beans to keep going for a couple more cycles.

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Laurie Blouin beat black and blue but victorious

Enni Rukajarvi used every ounce of her experience to make her second run count after skidding out on the final jump in her first, sticking a tight front 360 stalefish after a cab 540 and backside 720.

After getting silver in Sochi, a bronze from this wind-swept slope will make a valiant addition to her trophy cabinet. A snowboarder’s snowboarder to the last, she didn’t celebrate her spot until the very end, instead choosing to console O’Brien, Gasser and Marino as they dejectedly finished their runs.

Dropping last and with victory already in the bag, Jamie Anderson was all smiles as she waited for the wind to die down for her last lap, her coach telling her to “do a run that will make you proud.” She gave it a fair go, but even her superpowers couldn’t contend with the gnarly winds on the first jump. Still another gold, and for from four in Olympic slopestyle from Team USA.

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Jamie Anderson getting ready to drop for a victory lap

And just like that, the rails and jumps will be gone from the greater public’s thoughts for another four years, leaving nothing but cereal box covers and talk show clips in its wake.

Again, questions will be asked on whether or not it should have been run at all, and with snowboarding’s popularity at the Games becoming apparent maybe next time around we’ll see changes such as a weather window implemented. We’re not holding our breath though…

The post Jamie Anderson Wins Gold | Women’s 2018 Olympic Snowboard Slopestyle Report appeared first on Mpora.

Winter Olympics | Bad Luck Blights the Brits in Men’s Slopestyle

High winds and questionably low scores meant there were no British men in the slopestyle final

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Freestyle Mens Snowboard Slopestyle Qualifications © Sam Mellish

Billy Morgan, Team GB freestyle snowboarder, during the men’s Snowboard Slopestyle Qualifications at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on the 10th February 2018 in Phoenix Snow Park – South Korea © Sam Mellish

There was never expectation – slopestyle snowboarding is far too fickle a game for that – but there was hope. From the riders themselves, who’ve worked so hard to get here, from the coaches and support staff, who’ve all put in long hours and late nights, and from the fans and families here on the ground in Pyeongchang. But unfortunately it wasn’t to be, as all three British men failed to go through to Olympic slopestyle final yesterday.

The run of bad luck that saw Katie Ormerod crash twice in training, fracturing her wrist and then shattering her heel has not, it seems, been expunged. At least none of the three British men riding, Jamie Nicholls, Billy Morgan or Rowan Coultas, went down the hill in ambulances.

“All I was thinking was ‘headwind’ so as I came out of the rodeo I just pinned it, and I was still slow as fuck.”

“I’m in one piece which is great,” said Billy only half jokingly, after the qualifiers were finished. While he was obviously disappointed, he wasn’t going to let it ruin the experience of being at the games. “I’ve just come to enjoy it really, and I am.”

Billy had dropped in heat two of the qualifiers, when the wind had picked up a bit over the pristine-looking Pyeongchang slopestyle course. It would prove his undoing. Things were looking good on his second run, but as he dropped from the rail section towards the kickers you could feel a gust blowing over the crowd in the grandstand.

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Freestyle Mens Snowboard Slopestyle Qualifications © Sam Mellish

As usual, Jamie Nicholls rail tricks were on point – among the cleanest and the most technical. Photo: Sam Mellish

Up on the hill, Billy felt it too. “On the gap-to-down [rail] I had headwind there and I was like, ‘this better stop.’ All I was thinking was ‘headwind’ so as I came out of the rodeo [his next trick] I just pinned it, and I was still slow as fuck.” As he realised he would come up short, he opened out early on his frontside triple cork, miraculously managing to rescue a slightly sketchy double instead, but from then on he knew “the run was fucked.”

“When that happened all I was thinking, was I had to battle the wind coming into the front double again. I didn’t know how big I was gonna go so it completely put me off.”

“Ah well,” he said. “You win some, you lose some.”

Rowan Coultas was similarly sanguine about having been eliminated at the qualifying stage, although he admitted that he was “absolutely gutted” about the fact that he hadn’t managed to land either of his runs.

Rowan Coultas looking steezy over one of the off-axis kickers. Note the windsock blowing pretty hard on the right. Photo: Sam Mellish

Still, he was was happy to be at the games, and soaking up the experience. Mpora met his dad Nick early on in the day. His nerves were understandably in shreds, but his stoke level remained consistently high. “I just dug the original email that I sent to [British head snowboard coach] Hamish [McKnight] eight years ago saying: ‘I want to move to the mountains, where should I go?’ He said ‘Mayrhofen.’ And here we are eight years later and Ro’s in the Olympics!”

At just 20 years old, there’s every chance that Rowan will be coming back for future games if he wants to be.

Chris Corning, the American rider who many thought was scored very harshly.

Chris Corning, the American rider who many thought was scored very harshly.

The only Brit who did manage to stick a run cleanly, Jamie Nicholls, was also left disappointed. Despite having some of the cleanest and most technical rails, his first run score of 71.56 wasn’t enough to put him through to the final. “I thought you were robbed,” I told him, and I wasn’t the only one. “Jamie was underscored,” agreed Hamish, “although I don’t envy them cos it’s a thankless task.” Jamie himself said: “Yeah, that was a bit of a joke.”

For the most part the coaches and riders have seen the judging in Pyeongchang as fairly decent although the complicated course has made things slightly more difficult. However earlier in the Jamie’s heat Chris Corning, the young American who like Jamie and Billy was seen as an outside contender for a medal, had also been given what seemed like a very low score of 70.85. He took it rather less well than Nicholls, throwing what was described as “a hissy fit” in the post-event meeting.

Jamie however took the low score in his stride and tried to step it up in his second run. Unfortunately, like Billy was done over by the wind. “I knew I was going too big, I was going too quick. But it’s hard to judge when you’ve got the wind at your back you know?” he said.

“Chris Corning took the judging rather less well than Nicholls, throwing what was described as “a hissy fit” in the post-event meeting.”

Wind was again an issue in today’s final, where the eventual gold medal winner Red Gerard struggled for speed on his first two runs. “The wind on this course affects it a lot,” he said. So much so that the women’s slopestyle qualifiers, due to be held this afternoon, were postponed and then eventually cancelled as the breeze gathered pace.

Women’s slopestyle will now be contested as a single, final event, with all the riders getting two runs instead of the three they otherwise would have done. One of those dropping in is Team GB’s Aimee Fuller, who’ll be hoping she can finally undo the hoodoo that has affected Britain’s snowboarders in these games.

And of course, Billy, Jamie and Rowan will be back in action in the Big Air contest in just under two weeks time. Before practise begins for that, they have a week off. “It’s all good,” said Billy, “I’m just going to enjoy being here I think.”

You may also like:

Red Gerard Wins Gold | Olympic Slopestyle Full Report

From Underdogs to Overachievers | The Secret Story Behind Britain’s Winter Olympians

The post Winter Olympics | Bad Luck Blights the Brits in Men’s Slopestyle appeared first on Mpora.