Elias Ambühl takes an impressive bronze medal in the most competitive big air competition in freeskiing history. In front of the roaring crowd, Elias threw down a combination of technical and style tricks, taking third behind his countryman Kai Mahler in second and Henrik Harlaut in first.
The Winter X Games in Aspen is undeniably the most important freeski event of the season. With
thousands of spectators viewing the action live as well as millions of viewers checking out the live
stream online and prime time TV broadcast; it is by far the most mainstream media exposure that the sport of freeskiing receives. Now in it’s 17th year, the Winter X Games have never been bigger or more competitive. Accordingly the Big Air final was a spectacular competition where athletes pushed beyond their boundaries to achieve what was once considered impossible.
BATTLING THE CONDITIONS
The perfectly shaped 70 foot Big Air jump was shrouded in fog and persistent snowfall throughout the event, a stark contrast to yesterday’s perfect Snowboard Big Air. The athlete’s were understandably nervous as the wet snow caused serious speed issues for many of the athletes. However, Elias Ambühl proved to have no issues with speed as his Atomic Punx blitzed through the slushy snow, consistently sending him to the sweet spot every round. The flat light and fog also made things difficult for athletes to spot take offs and landings, however the Atomic Revel with Carl Zeiss optics helped Elias see through the bad visibility and stomp his landings every time.
PROGRESSION AND STYLE
Sharing his qualification heat with fellow Atomic teammates Andreas Håtveit and Jossi Wells, Elias Ambühl came out with guns blazing, going for his triple cork 1440 mute grab in the qualifiers. Not quite stomping the landing on his first attempt, the strong willed Swiss phenomenon landed the triple perfectly on his second try. Moving to the finals, Elias faced the best Big Air competitors in the world to reach the coveted X Games podium. He landed the triple cork 1440 mute grab on his first try, landing deep down the landing. He then focused on landing some style tricks, landing a double cork 1620, leading tail grab to following tail grab; a trick that has never been attempted before. He was awarded a combined score of 89, two points behind Kai. Elias Ambühl is super happy with the result and even has a few more tricks up his sleeve, which he is hoping to unveil soon! Congrats Elias, and stay tuned for more success!