Snowboarding News (PRWEB): The biggest aerial spectacle in winter sports just wrapped at a brand-new venue in China! Monster Energy congratulates its team of ski and snowboard athletes on a strong performance at the 2019 Air + Style Beijing FIS Snowboard World Cup. Inside the freshly inaugurated Big Air venue in Shougang Industrial Park, Monster Energy athletes claimed three podium spots across freeski and snowboard competitions.
In the high-energy Men’s Snowboard Big Air final, 25-year-old Max Parrot from Bromont, Canada, stoked the crowd (and judges) with a winning air show. Parrot claimed the top spot in a close head-to-head battle against his Monster Energy teammate, 25-year-old Sven Thorgren from Stockholm, Sweden, who took home second place. The Women’s Ski Big Air final saw 21-year-old Giulia Tanno from Lenzerheide, Switzerland, claim a strong second place finish in the World Cup event sanctioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS).
Air + Style started in 1994 as an invite-only snowboard competition in Innsbruck, Austria, focused on big aerial stunts. Over the years, the stadium event featuring the world’s most talented freestyle snowboarders has grown into a global series that blends live music, action sports, art, and culture. Since 2010, Beijing has been a steady stop on the Air + Style circuit and ranks as a FIS Snowboard World Cup competition since 2017’s edition at the Beijing Workers’ Stadium.
This year marked a special moment in Air + Style Beijing history, as the world’s best freestyle skiers and snowboarders competed on the brand-new Shougang Park Big Air ramp. Situated in a fully redeveloped industrial park on the western outskirts of China’s capital city, the facility will become a permanent fixture for China’s snow sports scene and official venue in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Here’s how the action unfolded across ski and snowboard disciplines at Air + Style Beijing today, as the world’s best riders attacked the massive centerpiece jump with their most technical aerials:
Men’s Snowboard Big Air: Monster Energy’s Parrot and Thorgren battle for the top spot
Monster Energy’s Sven Thorgren came to Beijing to defend his Air + Style title from last year, his second career win at the legendary event. But as the action moved into Saturday’s ten-rider final, the Swedish snowboard wunderkind found himself locked into an intense fight for the top spot against his teammate, Max Parrot from Canada, who returned to full form with a gold medal finish at X Games Norway in August 2019.
Straight out the gate, Parrot set the bar high by stomping a fast-spinning Cab triple cork 1620 Indy over the gap, taking the lead with 92.75 points. Thorgren fired back with a brand-new backside 1620 stalefish – landed for the first time in competition – to claim 93.25 points and the lead. But ultimately, Parrot had the last word: A perfect frontside triple cork 1620 mute – landing backwards after four-and-a-half rotations – earned the Big Air trailblazer 93.25 points and the Air + Style Beijing crown.
Thorgren followed up with a frontside triple cork mute for 91.75 point on run two, finishing only a single point behind Parrot’s winning 186-point score.
“The new venue is simply amazing! I actually think it’s one of the best scaffolding jumps in the entire world. The jump is really big, conditions were great, and you can see it in the level of riding. It was a tough contest for sure,” said Parrot upon taking first place at the 2019 Air + Style Beijing FIS Snowboard World Cup today.
Today’s win brings Parrot’s Air + Style journey full circle. Right after competing in Beijing in November 2018, Parrot was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer and spent several months in treatment. “Last year, this was the last contest before my battle, so I’m really hyped to come back this year and take the win,” said Parrot in Beijing today.
Parrot made an emotional comeback at X Games Norway in August 2019, where he claimed gold in X Games Big Air, bringing his career X Games medal count to ten (six gold, four silver). The Big Air pioneer is known for dropping the world’s first cab-spinning quad cork and is also a podium threat in snowboard slopestyle, where he has earned a gold medal at X Games Aspen 2014.
Parrot’s Monster Energy teammate Thorgren first became hooked on snowboarding at the age of seven and has since emerged as a force of progression inside and outside the contest arena. Known for his technical bag of tricks, he has won gold in Snowboard Slopestyle at X Games Norway 2017 and took first place at Air + Style Beijing in 2013 and 2018.
Women’s Ski Big Air: Monster Energy’s Giulia Tanno Takes Strong Second-Place Finish
Freeski was contested for the first time at Air + Style Beijing this year and the audience was in for a treat. The leading female freeskiers on the FIS World Cup circuit put on a phenomenal air show at the brand-new stadium. When all was said and done, Tanno held her own in a stacked field of riders with a strong second-place finish.
The level of competition was intense as riders sent the most difficult aerials across the massive jump at Shougang Industrial Park. Tanno jumped into the fray with a technical left double cork 1080 safety grab on her first run, earning only 71.00 points due to a slightly glitchy landing. On her second run, Tanno hit the jump riding backwards to pop a massive switch left 900 tailgrab for 84.25 points, bringing her final score to 155.25 points for second place behind Norway’s Johanne Killi in first.
Freshly graduated from Sportmittelschule Engelberg college in June 2019, Tanno steps into the 2020 freeski season fully focused. In early November, Tanno kicked off her season by taking second place in the FIS Women’s Big Air event at Modena Skipass in Italy. The Swiss snowboarding phenom also claimed a well-earned silver medal in Ski Big Air at X Games Norway in August. Tanno now owns three X Games medals (two silver, one bronze) and counts as a podium threat at the upcoming 2020 X Games Aspen in Colorado.
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