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Kim Win Leads Four Americans at U.S. Grand Prix

By Andrew Gauthier
December, 8 2018
Chloe Kim at Copper Mountain Halfpipe.
Chloe Kim won Saturday's Toyota U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe at Copper Mountain, Colorado. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

Chloe Kim (Torrence, Calif.) led the U.S. Snowboard Team to claim four out of six podium spots at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe finals Saturday at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Teammate Maddie Mastro followed Kim in second. For the men, Toby Miller (Mammoth, Calif.) and Olympian Chase Josey (Sun Valley, Idaho) finished second and third respectively.

“I think a lot of people struggled in this pipe, it was kind of hard to get speed,” said Kim, who has kept the focus on going big to separate herself from the pack early in the season. “I feel like amplitude is always the main thing for me, so I was thinking about a run that would let me have consistent amplitude. I’m really happy to start the season off on a high note and It’s great to be sharing the podium with my teammate, go Team USA!”

Miller climbed the competition ladder quickly as only a few months ago he claimed the 2018 Junior World Championship title in Cardrona, New Zealand. He immediately followed it up with a podium at the FIS Snowboard World Cup level at the U.S. Grand Prix. Not only did he succeed, but he did so with a run he had never performed previously in practice or in competition.

“I surprised myself and I am so happy,” said Miller. “I landed my first run and it was the first time I had ever put that combination of tricks down. Coming into run two I felt a lot more confident and I kept my foot on the gas pedal. I didn’t do that run in practice at all, so the first run was the first time I ever completed it successfully. I couldn’t be happier”

Mastro continued to fight for a spot on the podium through all three of her runs and took it one step at a time. “I had some up and downs throughout the day, but I’m happy to come out with a second place,” she said. “I took the competition run by run and wanted to feel things out as the competition progressed.” Mastro also hinted at the prospect of including a new trick she learned at Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Training camp in the coming competitions. “You’ll have to wait and see on the double crippler making it into my run, but hopefully it happens soon.”

Josey kept things creative, which was clearly a goal coming into the competition week. ”I have been trying to mix things up and be as creative as possible,” said Josey. “I thought of double Michalchuk Japan over a year ago and it’s finally coming to light. I put a lot of work into that so I’m stoked to land it last run and claim third.

“The level of riding just blasted through the roof compared to last year at Copper. saw it starting to happen after the Olympics at the last competition of the season and into the summer camps and fall camps,” Josey noted at the rising level of competition. “I was watching all these 1260s and 1440’s go down and quickly realized no one was chilling this offseason and everyone was fired up and wanting to win. I’m psyched to see people so stoked on snowboarding.”

The U.S Snowboard Team will continue competition at Dew Tour Dec. 13-16 in Breckenridge, Colorado, in slopestyle and the modified halfpipe, as well as in Secret Garden, China for the FIS World Cup in halfpipe and slopestyle Dec. 19-21.

Men’s Snowboard

  1. Scotty James - Frontside 1080 Tail, Switch Crippler Chicken Salad, Switch Backside Double Cork 1080 Mute, Backside Double Cork 1260 Mute, Frontside Double Cork 1260 Indy.

  2. Toby Miller - Frontside Double Cork 1080 mute, Cab Double Cork 1080 Mute, Frontside 900 Tail, Backside Double Cork 1260 Mute, Frontside Double Cork 1260 Indy.

  3. Chase Josey - Frontside Alley-Oop 360 Indy, Switch Double Michalchuk backside grab, Cab Double Cork 1080 Mute, Frontside 900 Roast Beef, Double Michalchuk Japan.

Women’s Snowboard

  1. Chloe Kim - Method, Frontside 1080 Tail, Cab 900 Indy, Switch Backside 360, Mctwist Indy.

  2. Maddie Mastro - Method, Frontside 900 Indy, Backside 540 Stalefish, Frontside 720 Indy, 720 Stalefish, Haakon Flip 720 Stalefish, Crippler 540 Indy.

  3. Cai Xuetong - Frontside 540 Melon, Backside 540 Mute, Air to Fakie Melon, Cab 720 Tail, Frontside 900 Japan.

Men’s halfpipe
Women’s halfpipe

All times EST
**Next-day broadcast

Sunday, Dec. 9
12:30 p.m. - Men and women’s halfpipe, Copper Mountain, Colo. - NBC**