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Kim, Gold, Pates Podium at the Laax Open World Cup

By Andrew Gauthier
January, 19 2019

Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.) took the victory in Laax, Switzerland at the FIS Snowboard World Cup Laax Open halfpipe as teammates Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and Jake Pates (Eagle, Colo.) each claimed third, completing a stellar showing for the U.S. Snowboard Team.

“I think I was a little nervous about the night final,” said Kim. “But it turned out really well. The pipe was sick, the ladies were killing it, and it was a really fun contest to be a part of.”

Pates also shared his excitement about the event. “I had such a blast,” he said. “The night finals were crazy. So many people showed up to support and everyone was riding at an insane level. Laax knows how to put on an event for sure.”

It was a perfect night in Laax with the sun setting over the Swiss Alps and a capacity crowd on the walls of the superpipe. The energy was definitely contagious with all the riders putting on a spectacular show. With perfect walls and a slightly longer runway for the athletes, the scene was set for snowboarding excellence and that’s exactly what went down.

Kim did not disappoint as she earned her second victory at the Laax Open, adding to her win in 2017. This is Kim’s sixth-consecutive halfpipe victory since the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth in January of 2018. Her first run was full of amplitude and style, but only featured one 1080. She followed up her first run with a huge second run score of 95.75, this time incorporating back to back 1080’s that the Swiss crowd unanimously approved. Kim, striving for perfection, commented, “Yea, I definitely wish I grabbed the cab 1080, but other than that I’m happy I put it down,” she said.

Arielle Gold landed a strong first run that would hold for a podium finish. Gold was all smiles in the finish after her run. She has been battling a difficult college schedule at the University of Colorado at Boulder, while also sticking to a demanding competition schedule. Gold is now in top form moving into X Games.

“I was really happy to get my first podium of the season, especially against a really talented field of girls,” said Gold. “I was excited about my riding and am just hoping to build off of that going into X Games next week.”

Maddie Mastro finished in fifth place after landing her second run, but was unable to break into the podium. Spain’s Queralt Castellet finished in second between Kim and Gold. Cai Xuetong finished fourth and maintained her lead in the World Cup halfpipe standings, while Kim jumped from fourth to second. Gold also made a significant leap in the standings from 11th to seventh.

For the men, Pates came out of the gate on fire, landing a solid first run and finished it with a huge double Michalchuk that lit up the crowd. This is Pates first World Cup podium, but definitely not his first rodeo considering he represented the U.S. at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. On the other hand, Josey struggled on his first run, taking a double crippler to the deck, but stomping it and showing serious strength. Josey did not finish his full second run and would settle for 10th place. Australia's Scotty James claimed the top spot and now is the halfpipe World Cup leader. Pates also jumped into the top 10 of the standings moving into sixth place. Also, Josey is currently eighth, and Toby Miller (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) is in 10th.

The U.S. Snowboard Team will head to X Games for slopestyle, big air and halfpipe competition Jan. 24-27 at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colo. Following X Games athletes will head to Park CIty, Utah, the home of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, for 10 days of world class competition at the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships. Stay tuned for the U.S. SKi & Snowboard World Championships Team Announcement and tune into NBC to catch all the action.

RESULTS
Men’s Halfpipe
Women’s Halfpipe

WORLD CUP STANDINGS
Men’s Halfpipe
Women’s Halfpipe

HOW TO WATCH - X GAMES
Subject to change
All times EST
@XGames - Streaming via YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages.
*Same-day broadcast
**Next-day broadcast

FREESKI
Thursday, Jan 24. 

1:00 p.m. - Men’s slopestyle elimination - Aspen, Colo. - @XGames
7:30 p.m. - Women’s superpipe - Aspen, Colo. - @XGames
10:00 p.m. - Men’s superpipe - Aspen, Colo. - ESPN

Friday, Jan. 25.
12:00 p.m. - Women’s slopestyle - Aspen, Colo. - @XGames
12:00 p.m. - Men’s big air elimination - Aspen, Colo. - @XGames
9:00 p.m. - Women’s big air - Aspen, Colo. - @XGames
10:35 p.m. - Women’s big air - Aspen, Colo. - ESPN*

Saturday, Jan 26. 
10:00 p.m. - Men’s big air - Aspen, Colo. - ESPN

Sunday, Jan. 27. 
2:00 p.m. - Men’s slopestyle - Aspen, Colo. - ESPN2

SNOWBOARD
Thursday, Jan 24. 

1:00 p.m. - Men’s big air elimination - Aspen, Colo. - @XGames
10:00 p.m. - Women’s big air - Aspen, Colo. - ESPN

Friday, Jan. 25.
12:00 p.m. - Men’s slopestyle elimination - Aspen, Colo. - @XGames
10:35 p.m. - Men’s snowboard Big Air - Aspen, Colo. - ESPN

Saturday, Jan 26. 
1:00 p.m. - Women’s slopestyle - Aspen, Colo. - ABC
1:00 p.m. - Men’s slopestyle - Aspen, Colo. - ABC
8:30 p.m. - Knuckle Huck - Aspen, Colo. - @XGames
10:00 p.m. - Women’s superpipe - Aspen, Colo. - ESPN

Sunday, Jan. 27. 
8:30 p.m. - Men’s superpipe - Aspen, Colo. - ESPN