X Games Fourteen
Remember last year when ESPN had the people sitting at home on their couches text in and vote on the Big Air winner? And Mikkel Bang got a mere 8 percent of the votes for doing a switch back 1260, while Travis Rice (even to his own surprise) received 92 percent for a double back rodeo? Well, that judging format got tossed out the window with the rest of the ’00 decade. Phew. No offense to the audience at home, but let’s leave the judging to the professionals, right?
With that said, here’s the scenario: Transworld’s 2010 Rookie of the Year Halldor Helgason handled business like true bad-ass tonight, receiving two perfect scores of 50 well before time was up and yet continuing to scamper back to the top of the kicker like some sort of banshee to jump again and jump again, just for the sheer joy of it. That’s how you can tell he’s 19 years old, I guess! He’s just 100-percent amped and not yet thinking along the lines of what if I get hurt next jump I’ve already got this thing won maybe I should just chill …
Nope, Halldor did not chill tonight. He started off with a double-cork frontside 1080 (bingo, perfect score!), then a double-cork backside 1260 (yipes—another perfect score!), then a big ol’ laid out backflip, and so on and so forth until the timer rang. Chasing his heels was Torstein Horgmo, who set down 1260s galore—both Cab and switch backside—along with a savage back 1080. However, it appeared that the judges were rewarding invert, and so Halldor’s double cork kept him on top. Mikkel Bang kicked off his finals with a picture-perfect switch backside 1260, then a frontside 1080, then a lofty backside rodeo, but when he tried to up the ante to double back rodeo, he ran into trouble and sat in the landing. No worries, though, ’cause his best two jumps combined for a score of 83—good enough for a podium.
Anyhoo, other Big Air sickness included young Tyler Flanagan’s Cab 1260s and Eero Ettala’s double cork backside 1260. Pretty much you had to have a twelve to rub shoulders with the finalists, preferable a double cork or invert of some sort. After all, this is the X Games, and upside down is where it’s at.
Big Air Results
1. Halldor Helgason
2. Torstein Horgmo
3. Mikkel Bang
4. Eero Ettala
5. Tyler Flanagan