By Sean Mulligan
Jan. 17, 2002
For 18-year-old Tanner Hall, things seemed to be under control after his first run in Thursday's Skiing Slopestyle event. Following his second run, it looked like the competition was in the bag. Wrap up the gold medal, then go and collect the fat check.
Could it be that simple for last year's Winter X Games Big Air champion to take the win?
Not so fast. Good friend C.R. Johnson wasn't about to let him off the hook that easy. In the final round, Hall was alone in the lead until C.R. hit the course for his last shot. Going tech on the top portion of the course, using all of the early rails well, he kept it clean as he approached the money jump, passing up the large kinker to his right. A bio 1080 and a stomped landing later and the two were tied for the top score with a 70.00.
Tanner likes his airs supersized.
Hall had scored a 70.00 for his second run with a good combination of switch riding, a large D-spin 720 and a switch 900. Both of his trips down the course were clean and he stomped all of his landings. This was in sharp contrast to many of the other riders who seemed to be having trouble on the last "money" jump. Several riders ran the top half of the course clean, only to go big on the last hit and then case the landing.
Following the announcement of Johnson's score, Tanner appeared on the Jumbo screen, waiting to begin his last run. He smiled into the camera saying, "nice job, C.R., nice job." Although it appeared to be a tie to the crowd, Tanner's last run was not even necessary, he had already won. In Slopestyle, normally only the best score is counted, but when there is a tie the skier with the second best run wins.
(kamikaze, editor's note: Took me a while to figure this out, but I'm pretty sure that since C.R. and Tanner each pulled off a 70.00, that score was cancelled out and they looked at their other runs; Tanner's second-best run beat out C.R.'s second-best run. If I'm wrong, please message me so I can correct this.)
With a mob of youth around him, Johnson was handed a cell phone and yelled over the blaring music and commotion. "Hey, Mom, I just tied for first place at the X Games! It's awesome!"
Both Tanner and C.R. were laughing about the outcome after the competition.
"Yeah, I guess we can share the gold medal or something, but we don't get to share the first place money", joked C.R..
"I'm psyched, this is so great. I was happy with my first two runs." said Tanner.
For the inaugural Skiing Slopestyle event at the Winter X Games, the new course was a challenge for the athletes. The top of the course led off with the "Sex Change" rail, a six foot-tall, 14-footer that leads into a choice between either a nice, long kinked rail or a threesome of picnic tables laid out end to end. Next was the fun box and then another kinker. Two booters later, it was on to the shark fin, a 20 foot-high thin table top with a five foot-high rail. After the 25 foot drop from this monster, it was on to the 50 foot money booter which claimed many victims on Thursday.
Although there were plenty of options on the course, the skiiers seemed to be having trouble keeping up speed through the top of the course.
"The course was nice, but I couldn't do a full run in practice yesterday. I think it was just a little too slow up on the top." said Hall.
X Games Ski Slopestyle Results
1. Tanner Hall
2. C.R. Johnson
3. Jon Olsson
4. Boyd Easley
5. Vincent Dorion
6. Iannick Brouillette
7. Steele Spence
8. Matt Sterbenz
9. Candide Thovex
10. Dave Crichton
To see the streaming video of the final round or more news and info, visit xgames.com, and click on "XGames Raw."