For the third day in a row, the best jump skiers on the planet could be seen flying high in the skies above Beijing, though IOC policy (and the threat of potential disappearance) probably meant that some might not have been quite as high as they'd like to have been. The comp game is a brutal one and Eddy T was unlucky not to find himself in finals, while Woodsy, Max Moffat & Teal Harle were all trying potential winning runs on qualis day, but couldn't put them down. Big shoutout to those guys though because they were definitely pushing the bar. The finals field was definitely still stacked to the brim, and with the strangely fitting cooling towers in the background, the men put on a great big air show. Perhaps it didn't quite reach the game-changing heights of women's event from the previous night but there were still some insane stunts and the judging was, thankfully, solid enough on this one as far as we could see.


Run 1:

First to drop in the frequently crucial first run was Jesper Tjader, with the blender switch dub 18 japan... a pretty impossible-sounding trick just a couple of years ago. Evan McEachran immediately answered with a switch triple 18 mute to set the early bar with a 93. Leonardo Donaggio went for the forward/blunt version for 91 to set himself up nicely too. Following that, we saw a bunch of 18 variations but none of them were clean enough for a proper score. Colby Stevenson slightly overrotated on a nosebutter dub 16 japan, reverting. Henrik stomped the same trick but with safety, his signature, but a little fist drag kept his score down to 86. Oliwer Magnusson stomped a forward dub 19 blunt but dragged a finger and only scored 87.5. Alex Hall missed his trademark Buick grab. leaving things wide open for Birk Ruud, who put down a perfect switch left triple 19 mute for a huge score of 95. Overall though, perfect stomps were in fairly short supply in run 1, leaving most riders requiring two from two in their final runs to challenge for a medal.


Run 2:

Leonardo Donaggio was the first to back up a big first-run score with a stomp, laying down a 'relatively mellow' switch double 16 tail for 81. Javier Lliso styled his way through a switch dub bio 18 safety for 89.0, bringing him back into the running for a medal. come run three. Christian Nummedal managed to do the same with a huge switch triple 18 mute (93.0), Colby Stevenson, stomped the nosebutter triple 16 japan second time round (91.75) and Alex Hall nailed a dub 19 buick (92.5). Henrik briefly took the lead, putting down a switch double bio 18 tweaked safety (90.0), before being bumped by Birk Ruud courtesy of his signature forward double bio 18 mute (TJ Schiller tweaked), scoring 92.0.


Runs 3:

The deciding run kicked off in reverse score order with a show of style tricks from those who definitely couldn't make the podium. Tormod Frostad capped a beautiful cork 360 blunt and Mac Forehand went dub 7 safety, a nice breather for sure. Things restarted properly with Javier Lliso's dub 16 capped blunt, but it was only enough for provisional 4th. Colby S moved himself into podium contention with a switch dub 18 cuban for 91.25, pushing Henrik to provisional third. Neither Nummedal nor Evan McEachran could back up single huge scores, crashing on run three. Jesper finally got a nod from the judges for his switch blender, scoring a 92 but lacking a second big score to challenge the top guys. Alex Hall crashed on the 2160 this time around and couldn't bag himself a medal, leaving Birk Ruud in a commanding position. Oliwer Magnusson cleaned up his switch dub 18 tail (not quite capped if we're being fussy) for 90.75 and bumped Henrik down to fourth. That left Dollo as the last guy able to stop Birk from claiming the inaugural men's gold in Big Air, and he did clean up his nosebutter triple 16 for 91. It was only enough for third, but it did mean Henrik finally took home an Olympic medal. That left Birk with a victory lap, dropping in with a Norwegian flag in hand and still stomping a dub bio 14 for good measure. He scored 69s across the board and takes Olympic gold back to Norway.



GOLD: Birk Ruud

SILVER: Colby Stevenson

BRONZE: Henrik Harlaut