Snow Sports NZ athletes Ruby Star Andrews (19) and Tiarn Collins (24), both of Queenstown, have finished in fourth and fifth place respectively at their X Games debut.
The prestigious invite only competition brings the best of the best to Aspen for the three-day event, where they battle it out for the coveted X Games titles. Andrews competed in the women’s Ski Big Air and Collins competed in the men’s Snowboard Big Air today.
X Games is renowned for its innovation and creativity which continuously pushes freeskiing and snowboarding year after year. 2024 was no different, with today’s big air events utilising a brand-new scoring format with each athlete required to do three tricks for a combined score out of 100. For the first time, their first hit had to be a style trick which was scored out of 10. The remaining 90 points were split equally between the two best scoring jumps that were in two different directions of rotation.
Both the ski and snowboard big air events were under floodlights on the third jump of the slopestyle course, with a huge crowd gathered at the bottom creating an electric atmosphere.
Andrews was up first this evening in the Women’s Ski Big Air competition. Her three tricks included a tweaked 360 blunt grab for her style trick and then she put down a left corked 900 and stomped a switch right 1080 for her two technical tricks.
Tess Ledeux of France took the win, claiming her fourth X Games gold medal. Anastasia Tatalina made history as the first Russian athlete to claim a Winter X Games podium and Rell Harwood of the USA rounded out the podium in third.
Up next, we saw Collins drop into the men’s Snowboard Big Air, and as expected the athletes absolutely threw down on the 75-foot jump.
Collins started out with a backside 1080 with a high indy grab for his style trick before stomping a cab 1800 and a switch back 1620 for his two technical tricks.
Japan’s Taiga Hasegawa took the win by a considerable margin, with his teammate Hiroaki Kunitake joining him on the podium in second and Norway’s Mons Roisland in third.
Both Andrews and Collins are back in action tomorrow in their respective slopestyle competitions from 7am NZT. Nico Porteous will be dropping into the X Games SuperPipe from 1pm NZT.