The second men's slopestyle comp of the day in Mammoth was also the final chance to qualify for the US Olympic Slopestyle Team. It went down on exactly the same course as the earlier event but with far fewer international riders to clog up the finals spots. Correspondingly, the finals were exclusively made up of US and Canadian athletes, but nonetheless, it was a banger show. The first comp was a FIS World Cup, meaning two runs per athlete, whereas the later event was AFP and a three run format and as a result we saw even more insanity than earlier. Nick Goepper already had the nomination required for the team but for everyone else it was game on.
Run 1 Highlights:
- Gus Kenworthy: landed the run that will almost certainly guarantee him a place on the Olympic team. Switch left 2 continuing 2, 450 to switch, switch right 270 pretz 450, right dub 12, switch left dub 12, left dub 14 (for 94.8).
- McRae Williams: Right 2 continuing 2, switch left 4, left 2 continuing four, rodeo 9 mute, switch right dub 10, switch left dub 14 (87.4).
- Nick Goepper: Left 2 pretz 2, right 450 switch, switch right 2 pretz 4, dub flat, left dub 12, switch right dub misty 12 (91.4).
Run 2 Highlights:
- Noah Wallace: switch right 2 continuing 2, front swap pretz 2, switch on 4 stale, left 10 stale, right dub 12 octo, switch left dub 10 (86.0).
- McRae Williams: Same run as before but a cleaned up and slightly bigger version (90.2).
- Nick Goepper: Left 2 pretz 2, front swap pretz 2, switch right 2 pretz 4, dub flat, left dub 12 blunt, switch right dub misty 12 mute (92.2).
- Evan McEachran: Right 4 continuing 4, switch tails front 4, blind surface continuing 4 cannon, dub flat, right dub 12, switch left dub 14 blunt to japan (96.4).
- Alex Hall: Left 2 front swap to backslide, switch left 2 continuing four (donkey dick) switch right 2 pretz 4, rodeo 9 blunt, switch right dub 10, switch left dub 12 (91.2).
Run 3 Highlights:
- Noah Wallace full send on the rails trying a front swap pretz six to attempt to push his score up.
- McRae Williams: 3 for 3 on stomps but the same run again.
- Nick Goepper: Left 2 pretz 2, front swap pretz 2, switch right 2 pretz 4, right dub 10, left dub 12 blunt, switch right dub misty 12 mute (93.2).
With that, an incredibly fiercely fought campaign to qualify for the US Olympic Team comes to an end. We don't yet have the final team but Gus Kenworthy's second place and Nick Goepper's third mean they have both now confirmed their slots on the team, along with Maggie Voisin on the ladies' side. McRae Williams' fifth place finish twinned with a good showing earlier makes him look good for the third team spot. The coaches' discretionary pick is still fairly up in the air but Alex Hall may just have done enough.