In an action-packed day of competition, X Games Norway 2019 impressed the crowd of 6,000, showcasing an unprecedented nine finals and four eliminations in a single day across the sports of Snowboard, Ski and Skateboard, while Moto X disciplines made their Norway debut.
The first medals to be awarded went to a familiar trio of Australians in Moto X Best Trick, with Jackson Strong winning gold, Rob Adelberg taking silver and Josh Sheehan rounding out the podium with bronze. Strong’s giant no-handed frontflip was good enough to secure his sixth Best Trick gold medal in eight X Games Best Trick starts, having already won one earlier this past June at X Games Shanghai.
Debuting on the first-ever, indoor-outdoor, snow big air jump, the Women’s Snowboard Big Air competition didn’t disappoint. Dropping in from the outside start position through the roof high above Telenor Arena and transitioning into the indoor kicker and landing, Switzerland’s Anna Gasser came out swinging. She avenged her seventh place finish from last year’s X Games Norway by stomping her first two runs — a cab double underflip mute and frontside double underflip indy — getting back to the top of the podium after fighting injury most of last season. Last year’s surprise gold medalist from Japan, Kokomo Murase, was unable to replicate her performance from a year ago, but still finished with a respectable silver medal performance. American Julia Marino finished just two points behind Murase to take home bronze.
In a dramatic finish in the Women’s Skateboard Street contest, Japan’s Aori Nishimura continued her X Games dominance, winning her second-consecutive gold medal on the final run of the competition. Nishimura’s winning run included a backside crooked grind down the big rail, frontside 50-50 on the ledge, backside lipslide down the blue rail, kickflip up the Euro gap and a nosegrind down the big rail to seal the win. She just edged out five-time X Games medalist Pamela Rosa from Brazil, who will take home her third silver medal. American Mariah Duran won bronze – also her fifth overall X Games medal.
The Women’s Ski Big Air athletes were not to be outdone by their snowboard counterparts, as France’s Tess Ledeux won her first X Games gold medal after early X Games success as a rookie with two silver medal performances in 2017. Landing an impressive double cork 1260 mute grab and a switch left 900 Japan Grab in her first two runs, Ledeux secured the win before even needing to take her final run. Her double cork trick scored a 48, the highest mark of the entire contest. Swiss skiers Giulia Tanno and Mathilde Gremaud turned in strong performances to complete the podium.
In Moto X Best Whip, Aussie and nine-time X Games gold medalist Jarryd McNeil returned the favor to fellow rider, Tyler Bereman from the U.S., who less than a month ago stole gold away from him at X Games Minneapolis. While Bereman added another bronze to his now collection of seven X Games medals, Japan’s Genki Watanabe won silver — his second medal in Moto X Best Whip.
In what may have been the most inspiring competition of the day, Men’s Snowboard Big Air welcomed Max Parrot back to his first competition since overcoming Hodgkin lymphoma cancer. First diagnosed in December 2018, Parrot set his sights on beating cancer in time to return to X Games Norway. Finishing his final chemotherapy treatment just two months ago, Parrot hadn’t missed a step. He won with a Cab 1620 Indy and a frontside triple cork 1440 mute, and was nearly untouchable as the only rider to land every run, all of which scored 43.66 or higher out of a possible 50. Sweden’s Sven Thorgren tried to make it interesting by scoring a 45.33 on his final run, which was good enough for silver. Japan’s Yuki Kadono won bronze.
X Games Norway continued to bring surprises, with Ishod Wair taking home his first ever gold medal in Men’s Skateboard Street. Not a traditional contest skater, Wair had only one bronze medal in his previous 14 X Games appearances. However, tonight Wair took the early lead and never looked back. His winning run included a combo of stylish tricks like a kickflip backslide lipslide down the blue rail, a 360 flip to fakie on the quarterpipe and ended with a blunt kickflip on the quarterpipe at the buzzer for an 82.00. Brazilians Luan Oliveira and Kelvin Hoefler rounded out the podium with an 80.00 and 79.00 respectively. Frederick Tangerud won the Nordic qualifier earlier in the day to earn a spot in the Men’s Skateboard Street Elimination.
The only American on the roster, Alex Hall won first X Games Big Air gold with a double cork 1260 Buick grab and switch double cork 1440 Buick grab. Since earning a fourth place in Big Air at X Games Norway 2018, Hall proved he’s the skier to beat with Aspen 2019 Slopestyle gold. Although Henrik Harlaut only returned to skiing on August 17th after undergoing knee surgery, he looked comfortable on the Big Air jump, earning a silver medal. With his 11th medal, Harlaut tied Tanner Hall for the most medaled Ski athlete in X Games history. Aspen 2019 Big Air silver medalist Alex-Bealieu Marchand earned bronze.
The event closed out with the fan favorite Moto X QuarterPipe High Air competition. On a tear since Minneapolis 2019, Australian Corey Creed earned his second consecutive QuarterPipe High Air gold medal with a height of 12.39 meters. This is the new record height, beating the Minneapolis 2018 record of 10.48 meters. After missing X Games Minneapolis due to injury sustained training for a World Record distance jump, Axell Hodges returned to competition attempting to add to his 2018 QuarterPipe gold medal. He had to settle for silver behind Creed, but reached a height of 11.93 meters. Tyler Bereman rounded out the podium with a height of 10.88 meters.