Winkelmann Takes Third at Calgary Snow Rodeo
Luke Winkelmann started off 2022 with a bang. The lone U.S. rider came out on the first run with enthusiasm, putting down a heater to earn a third-place finish at the FIS Snow Rodeo slopestyle and his first World Cup podium. The timing couldn’t be better for the rider hailing from North Carolina, as he chalks up valuable World Cup points in a bid to represent the United States in Beijing.
The conditions in Calgary have been frigid throughout the event, with Saturday’s temps slowly creeping up from negative-eight to a balmy zero degrees during finals. But that didn’t slow Winklemann down. He flowed through the upper rail section, adding in high-scoring technical variations, before sending it through the jump section with a frontside 1260 tail grab, into a switch backside triple cork 1440 Indy grab, into a Cab double 900 melon to earn a score of 83.2.
Winklemann said, “Today, my whole mindset was doing as much as I could and not trying to do a safety run. Not just going out there to land, just to literally do as much as I can. So that made me super happy to put that down first try. It’s a whirlwind of emotions right now. I’m just so happy.”
Winkelmann had a grueling wait to see if his score would hold with more riders to drop. He said, “Waiting for eight more riders was one of the more intimidating and nerve-wracking things I think I’ve been through just because I’ve always wanted a World Cup podium. And it’s just been a dream, but we prevailed, and that was crazy. I’m just so stoked right now, and let’s get more, baby!”
Canada’s Sebastien Toutant earned first place with a score of 86.86, followed by Norway’s Mons Roisland in second with a score of 84.50.
U.S. Slopestyle Team coach Dave Reynolds was equally as excited as Winkelmann on his performance. “Luke was really stoked to get into finals and wanted to go for the podium and put up his best run. He tried an even harder trick on run number two that he didn’t get; he was determined to do his best and came through in the clutch.”
Riders are now looking ahead to the final Olympic qualifier at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain and then the last chance at upping their points at the Laax Open.
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HOW TO WATCH
*All times EST.
Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022
12:30 p.m. FIS Snowboard World Cup Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Slopestyle - LIVE, Mammoth Mountain, CA, Streaming Peacock
4:00 p.m. FIS Freeski World Cup Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Slopestyle - LIVE, Mammoth Mountain, CA, Streaming Peacock
9:30 p.m. FIS Snowboard World Cup Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Halfpipe - LIVE, Mammoth Mountain, CA, Streaming Peacock