Marino Wins Final Snowboard World Cup in Quebec
Julia Marino (Westport, Conn.) took the victory under the lights at the final FIS Freeski and Snowboard World Cup big air season Saturday night in Quebec City, Canada.
"This contest is always cool to attend because of all the people the come watch," said Marino. "Quebec gets really festive for that night and it really fun to be a part of it, not to mention they do a really good job with the jump every year making sure that because it’s a scaffolding it’s not too sketchy and it’s perfect every time."
The competition kicked off in the afternoon with the freeskiers taking to the 40-meter tall, 90-meter long scaffolding jump set-up located between two converging highway overpasses. A capacity crowd looked on as the best athletes in the world dropped into one of the most impressive venues of the FIS World Cup tour.
Double-Olympic medalist Nick Goepper fell on his first attempt but made a run at the podium after lacing his last two runs and landing a right double cork 1260 Mute to Japan, as well as a right double cork 1260 Cuban. Goepper’s combination put him on the bubble in third place, where he lasted until the number one qualifier and the last rider to drip, Fabian Boesch of Switzerland stomped a perfectly execute right triple cork 1620. Goepper would finish the night just outside the podium in fourth place.
Lukas Muellauer of Austria won the event and Switzerland’s Boesch and Andri Ragettli finished in second and third respectively. Ragettli’s podium finish secured the coveted Crystal Globe in big air.
For the women, Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud topped the podium, Kea Kuehnel of Germany finished second, and Canada’s Elena Gaskell finished in third. Gaskell’’s third-place finish locked in the World Cup big air title.
As the sun set, the lights turned on, and the big air jump quickly became part of the Quebec skyline for the evening as snowboarders lined up for their chance at the massive jump. Marino would take the top spot for the ladies landing all three of her tricks and securing her third consecutive big air podium in Quebec in three years.
On the final run, Laurie Blouin of Canada was the only rider left that could challenge Marino. Blouin landed her final trick in front of an ecstatic hometown crowd, but to Marino’s favor, her final score would only be good enough for second place. As the top qualifier, Marino had a victory lap waiting for her on run three, but she did not let off the gas. Feeding off the crowd, she dropped in full speed and stomped a double underflip to improve on her first run score. Blouin finished second, and Klaudia Medlova of Slovakia closed out the podium in third.
For the men, Ryan Stassel (Anchorage, Alaska) rode extremely well landing his first two tricks including a beautiful front side flat spinning 1440 Indy. The flat spins are known to be extremely difficult to stop rotating for a solid landing, but Stassel locked it in. Dropping into run two and listening to Kansas, Stassel landed a backside 1260 Mute to move into first with only one run remaining. He was unable to land his final run and improve his score, opening the door for the rest of the field to fight for a spot on the podium.
Seppe Smit of Belgium, would land his final run and move into first where he would finish. Kalle Jarvilehto of Finland and Jonas Boesiger of Switzerland both landed their third run and would move into second and third respectively. Stassel finished fifth.
The Quebec World Cup signals the end of the FIS snowboard season. However, the U.S. Freeski Team will cap off their competition season in Silvaplana, Switzerland, March 29-30 with a full slopestyle program. Mac Forehand (Winhall, Vt.) will compete for a chance to take home the Crystal Globe as he currently leads the slopestyle World Cup standings.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EDT
Monday, March 18
7:00 p.m. - Men and women’s big air - Quebec, CAN - Olympic Channel-TV**
Monday, March 18
8:00 p.m. - Men and women’s big air - Quebec, CAN - Olympic Channel-TV**
All streams are available via desktop (NBCSports.com/Live, NBCSports.com/Gold and OlympicChannel.com) as well as mobile, tablet and connected television platforms. The NBC Sports app, NBC Sports Gold app and Olympic Channel app are available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Exclusive commercial-free coverage will be available for subscribers of the NBC Sports Gold Pass.