ASPEN, Colo. – Canada’s Kaya Turski made history at the Winter X-Games on Thursday.
The 23-year-old from Montreal won gold in slopestyle skiing to become the first women to win the event three years in a row.
Turski scored 95.00 points to grab the title and win the first medal handed out at this year’s Games.
“I’ve never seen the level so high as I’ve seen it today,” Turski said. “Everyone is taking training seriously, eating well, and working hard. It’s going to be a crazy couple of years.”
Turski held off 18-year-old Devin Logan of the U.S., who finished with 92.33. Australia’s Anna Segal scored a 90.00 to win bronze.
“I was cheering on Kaya today,” an exuberant Logan said. “We all want to push the sport every contest. I wanted her to put pressure on me to elevate the level of my riding, same with Anna. I saw her run and I knew I could do it. We all root for each other while pushing each other at the sometime.”
Entering her final run, Turski stood in third place. She ran most of the course smoothly on the first two runs, except the final jump. On her third and final run, Turski adjusted her routine.
“I had a little bit of trouble on my last jump in my first two runs,” said Turski in a conference call. “I felt pretty solid all the way through other than I could have cleaned up that last feature, that last jump, so I basically decided to up it a little bit and instead of a switch 900 go for a switch 1080.
“Basically, I went all in and pulled it off.”
A switch 1080 is when the skier hits a jump backwards, does three full rotations in the air, then lands backwards.
The slopestyle course is approximately 490 metres long with six features and a vertical drop of 85 metres. Skiers attempt multiple tricks throughout their run on specially designed jumps, rails, boxes and other obstacles. Judging is based on creativity, trick competitions and style. The competitors are ranked based on the best score of their three runs.