The story of Winter X Games 15 thus far may be the success of the rookies. Saturday night, rookie Alex Schlopy took the top prize in Skiing Big Air and Sunday morning, fellow rookie Enni Rukajarvi took the gold in Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle.
With the win, Rukajarvi not only won her first medal, but she is the first female snowboarder from Finland to medal at Winter X Games.
“I just wanted to land my run,” said an overwhelmed Rukajarvi. “I am so surprised. It is hard to believe I beat those girls because they are so good.”
Rikajarvi’s winning run included a 50/50 and 180 out, another 50/50, a backside 360, front side 360 a backside 540 and a cab 720 over the Money Booter for a score of 92.66.
With a score of 89.33, the silver medal went to Jenny Jones, who was seeking her third consecutive victory in the event.
“I was stoked to be in the competition,” said Jones. “It was great to ride with the girls and feel that my level of riding was still up there with all of them. I would have loved a third gold, but I am stoked to be on the podium. Congrats to Enni on her first Winter X Games and her first gold.”
Last year’s silver Medalist Jamie Anderson took home the bronze with a score of 86.00.
“The competition was great today,” said Anderson. All the girls rode so well.I am really stoked that I am bronze and that Enni won.”
Snowboard Slopestyle tests a rider’s ability to handle a variety of terrain by executing freestyle maneuvers down a course filled with a variety of features. The Winter X Games 15 course contains rails, hips, tabletops and a variety of jumps allowing riders to combine big air and technical tricks into one run. Riders are judged on amplitude, execution, difficulty of line, landings and use of the course.