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Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Henricksen Breaks X Games Slopestyle Gold Medal Drought; Anderson Wins First Big Air Gold

By Andrew Gauthier
January, 31 2021
Dusty Henricksen at the medal ceremony for the men's snowboard slopestyle during X Games Aspen 2021. (ESPN Images - Phil Ellsworth)

17-year-old Dusty Henricksen broke a 12-year American men’s slopestyle X Games gold medal drought Sunday during the final day of X Games Aspen 2021, collecting his second win of the weekend. 

“This doesn’t feel real,” said Henricksen. “I feel like I’m going to wake up soon. I’m absolutely speechless and it’s been an amazing week. My run today was probably my favorite snowboard lap I have taken all season. Just being able to ride that course, cruise, and have fun was epic.” 

The last time an American man won the event was Shaun White in 2009. Reminiscent of the 2020 U.S. Open, Henricksen was looking casual on course wearing a t-shirt and displaying effortless style while maintaining a high degree of difficulty.

“After hearing the announcer mention that I wasn’t in my T-shirt today, I thought to myself, why am I not in a t-shirt,” he reflected with a smile and a laugh. “It was pretty nice out and I just decided to stay cool out there.”

Norway’s Mons Roisland earned silver following a banger last run and Finnish snowboarder Rene Rinnekangas rounded out the podium with the bronze. U.S. Snowboard Pro Team member Judd Henkes also put on a solid performance finishing fourth place and landing a massive backside 1080 on the shark fin in his fourth X Games appearance. 

Following her win in slopestyle on Friday, Jamie Anderson continued her domination of X Games Aspen 2021 earning her first-ever X Games big air gold. This brings her total X Games medal tally to 19, eight of which are gold. Anderson landed two beautiful jumps including a front double cork 1080 and a cab double cork 1080, which held down the top spot for the entire competition. 

“The level out here is insane and honestly can be pretty intimidating,” said Anderson. “Coming out today I knew I just wanted to do my front 1080 and cab 1080. I knew the girls would be sending it. I am so impressed with Miyabi (Onitsuka) with that cab 1260 right out of the gate. I think it took consistency, trying to be clean, and having fun to come out with the win today. It was a perfect jump, picture-perfect weather, and I’m so glad how today turned out.“

The competition was arguably the most progressive X Games women’s snowboard big air in the history of the event, with the entire field trying two different doubles cork variations. Japan’s Miyabi Onitsuka took silver and New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski-Synnott earned bronze. 

Anderson and Henricksen have each walked away with two gold medals over the course of X Games 2021. Although there have not been many events this season, the U.S. Snowboard Team made this X Games weekend at Buttermilk count! 

Men’s snowboard slopestyle
Women’s snowboard big air

Men’s snowboard slopestyle
Women’s snowboard big air

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