Nico Porteous ‘over the moon’ with X Games silver medal
Wānaka 22-year-old Nico Porteous has won a silver medal in a hotly contested X Games Men's Ski SuperPipe event in Aspen.
Mr Porteous, the Beijing 2022 freeski halfpipe Olympic champion, saved the best for last in Aspen, clinching the silver medal on his third and final run.
He put together a unique run that, according to a media announcement by Snow Sport NZ after the win, "oozed style and creativity, along with the highly technical tricks he is renowned for".
Mr Porteous dropped in with a buttered 180 before setting the tone with a huge switch straight air.
Moving into the technical tricks he laced together a textbook switch left double cork 1080 into a right double cork 1620.
Then things really got creative – upon landing his 1620 instead of skiing across the halfpipe to hit the right hand wall, the free-skier laid his skis on edge and threw a huge cut back carve to hit the left wall again, executing a massive left ally-oop flat 540.
He then stomped a huge left double cork 1620 to finish his run.
"The crowd loved it and the judges agreed," the Snow Sports NZ statement says.
Mr Porteous describes the win, his fourth at an X Games as "amazing".
"It’s been two years since I have been on the podium with the year off. I have been switching up how I ski and tonight I wanted to express myself. I did what I wanted to do and it paid off – I am over the moon.”
Snow Sports NZ coach Byron Wells says plenty of practice was put in, and that helped Mr Porteous executive the run.
“The guys came up with the plan to do two hits on the left wall, every day we have been on snow we have worked and worked on it. It’s so epic to see it pay off and for Nico to put that down in front of the world - we are both ecstatic.”
USA took first and third spots on the podium, with
Last week, Mr Porteous confirmed he was parting ways with coach of 15 years Tommy Pyatt.
Meanwhile earlier today X Games debutants Ruby Star Andrews, 19, and Tiarn Collins, 24, both of Queenstown, competed for the second time in as many days.
Mr Collins put together a solid run, including a huge cab triple cork 1800 on the final jump to finish in sixth place.
The cab triple cork 1800 was a personal best trick for Mr Collins, and today marked the first time he has landed it in a slopestyle competition.
Ms Andrews had a personal best run of her own, spinning all four ways on the rails as well as landing back-to-back 900s on the jumps for her first time in competition to finish in seventh place.
It rounds up a huge weekend of action at the 2024 Aspen Winter X Games.
The Snow Sports NZ Park and Pipe team will next be in action at the Mammoth Mountain World Cup next weekend.
The Youth Olympic Games team will be continuing their highly successful campaign on Wednesday with the halfpipe events.
Main image (Snow Sports NZ):