Forehand Fourth, Henkes Seventh at World Champs Visa Big Air
U.S. skiers and riders put up a fight at the Visa Big Air presented by Land Rover finals on the last day of the Aspen 2021 FIS Snowboard and Freeski World Championships at Buttermilk in Aspen, Colo., Tuesday. U.S. Freeski Team member Mac Forehand led the way for the Americans finishing fourth and U.S. Snowboard Team member Judd Henkes was seventh.
Forehand put on an impressive performance just missing the podium in his second competition back from sustaining a knee injury at the 2019 Visa Big Air at SunTrust Park in Atlanta.
“It feels super good to be back.” said Forehand. “I just really wanted to put something down. I didn’t really care where I ended up, but that was probably the best switch mute 18 I have ever done. I am so excited to be back competing at the level I was at before. The level of skiing out here today was insane and the future of skiing is looking bright.”
In the final run of the men’s freeski Visa Big Air finals, the field began heating up. Forehand was no exception, landing a switch left double cork 1800 mute, putting him into third. He, unfortunately, got bumped to fourth after Canada’s rising star Edouard Therriault landed a massive and stylish switch left double 1800 tail grab.
Sweden’s Oliwer Magnusson of Sweden earned gold, Therriault claimed silver, and Switzerland’s Kim Gubser rounded out the podium with the bronze. U.S. Freeski Team member Alex Hall finished seventh.
In the women’s field, Russia Ski Federation's Anastasia Tatalina made history putting down mirrored dub 12s to please the judges and hold down the top spot, becoming the first RSF woman and athlete to be crowned as a FIS Freeski World Champion.
“I know that I have these tricks, and I just wanted to land it," said Tatalina. “I worked so hard for that and I finally made it. It feels amazing.”
She was followed by teammate Lana Prusakova taking silver and China’s Eileen Gu earning the bronze. Gu’s finish marked her third podium of the Aspen 2021 World Championships
The final of day of World Championships competition continued with U.S. Snowboard Team member Judd Henkes earning seventh place.
“I definitely wanted some more on that last one, but I am stoked to put down two tricks and to have some momentum moving into the next contest,” said Henkes. “Big air snowboarding is insane right now. People are so talented and it’s become a game of inches. You’ve got to land perfectly.”
Henkes completed a backside triple 1620 Weddle, but the judges docked him for a small hand-drag in his landing. He then landed a switch 1440 Stalefish on his final run. Canada’s Mark McMorris found redemption from a tough performance in slopestyle taking the gold, while countryman Max Parrot earned silver, and Norway’s Marcus Kleveland took bronze.
For the women, Canada’s Laurie Blouin topped the podium earning gold, New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski Synnott took silver - her second medal of the World Championships - and Japan’s Miyabi Onitsuka earned bronze.
The U.S. Freeski and Snowboard Teams will remain in Aspen for the Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle and halfpipe World Cup. The U.S. Grand Prix is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this season, so it’s only fitting the competition will serve as the first U.S. Snowboard and Freeski Olympic tryout event.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Saturday, March 20
11:30 a.m. Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix Freeski Slopestyle - LIVE, Aspen, Colo., Streaming Peacock
3:00 p.m. Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix Snowboard Slopestyle - LIVE, Aspen, Colo., Streaming Peacock
Sunday, March 21
11:30 a.m. Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix Freeski Halfpipe - LIVE, Aspen, Colo., Streaming Peacock
3:00 p.m. Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix Snowboard Halfpipe - LIVE, Aspen, Colo., Streaming Peacock
Monday, March 22
3:30 p.m. Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix Freeski Slopestyle - delayed broadcast, Aspen, Colo., Broadcast NBCSN
5:00 p.m. Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix Snowboard Slopestyle - delayed broadcast, Aspen, Colo., Broadcast NBCSN
Tuesday, March 23
3:00 p.m. Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix Freeski Halfpipe - delayed broadcast, Aspen, Colo., Broadcast NBCSN
4:30 p.m. Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix Snowboard Halfpipe - delayed broadcast, Aspen, Colo., Broadcast NBCSN
Interested in organization, athlete, and event related news?
Sign up for our Daily or Weekly Update
Learn more about how to support the U.S. Freeski & Snowboard Teams.