Photos: Felix Rioux and ckoPretty much every article Iíve ever read about the U.S. Freeskiing Open revolves around the Openís reputation for producing firsts in the skiing world. In its tenth incarnation, it was time for yet another memorable first: Jon Olsson atop the slopestyle podium.Jon laid down possibly the most technical four-jump combination ever seen in skiing, linking up a misty 9, switch right 10, switch 9 and his signature kangaroo flip to seal the deal on his first Open slopestyle gold after eight years of Open competition.
ďAt the prize-giving for the last five or six years, Iíve been thinking, ĎThis time, this time,íĒ an exuberant Jon said after the awards ceremony. ďAnd thenóthird again! Third again! Second! Third! And now, winning. I like winning. Iím going to try to do that a lot more in the future.ĒJon was the centerpiece of an all-Scandinavian podium, with Norwegians PK Hunder and Andreas Hatveit rounding out the top three. Norway claimed three of the top five, with dark horse Stian BB taking fifth place. Sean Decker interrupted the Scanner streak with a fourth-place finish.PK slayed the rail section of the course with a switch 450 disaster onto the flat-down box gap, backside 450 off the up rail and a blindside switch-up to 270 out on the trap box. His airs were just as impressive: switch right 7 into a switch left 9, an immaculate cork 9 nose and a huge switch left ten true tail. But it wasnít enough to budge Jonís almost mechanical air skills from the top spot.
Despite some brutal slams and a few injuries, the womenís final showcased some of the best in womenís freeskiing. In the established Open tradition of a newcomer who blows up the field, Australian Anna Segal took first place in her first Open appearance, ahead of Michelle Parker and Kristi Leskinen.ďItís absolutely crazy, I canít even believe it,Ē Anna said. ďIíve looked up to people who have won the Open for so long, and this is my first year competing.Ē So far the competition at Copper Mountain has been blessed with crystal-clear skies and clean organization, and the stoke level has been running high. With pipe qualifiers tomorrow leading into the infamous US Open Big Air competition tomorrow night under the lights, itís probably only going to get better.Full Slopestyle results (for qualifying results, check out our US Open Preview and Qualifiers article):Womens Slopestyle Finals (.pdf)Mens Slopestyle Semifinals - Heat 1 (.pdf)Mens Slopestyle Semifinals - Heat 2 (.pdf)Mens Slopestyle Finals (.pdf)