It’snowheaven – Killing in Cooper Mountain – By Jess Softley

For an event as big as this, they’d obviously ordered a dose of sunshine to add to the stunning backdrop of Copper Mountain, and the sun was what they got.

With such a glorious day, the U.S Sprint Grand Prix was undoubtedly going to be one hell of an event. With 149 halfpipe athletes and 195 slopestyle athletes coming from all over the globe to this North American Olymipc Qualifier of the season, the spectators would certainly be in for a show.

With the Men’s and Women’s Slopestyle finals kicking off Friday’s activity, it was clear from the qualifiers that it was going to be a big day.

In the Women’s final, Jamie Anderson dominated the slope, placing 1st with a full nine points ahead of Kjersti Buass. USA’s Anderson pulled off a storming run with a backside tailslide on the down rail and a 50/50 on the bus stop feature, followed by a frontside 360 mute on the first jump, backside 540 mute on the second and a switch backside 180 indy on the third.

After such a brilliant run, the judges gave her a well-deserved 83.0 points.

Norway’s own Kjersti Buass also showcased the best she had to offer, placing 2nd with 74.0, followed by 3rd place, Isabel Derungs with a 71.5.

The Men’s slopestyle produced some more technically challenging runs with USA’s Chas Guldemond coming 1st place with 92.5.

His run consisted of a frontside 270 to frontside boardslide on the down rail and blunt 450 out on the pole jam feature. For the first jump he did a switch backside 720 mute, a cab double cork 1260 melon grab on the 2nd and topped his run off with a massive backside double cork 1260 mute on the 3rd and final jump.

One of Finland’s best, Roope Tonteri followed Guldemond in 2nd place with 80.2 Close on the heels of Tonteri, was his fellow countryman, Peetu Piiroinen in 3rd with 74.0.

Saturday then brought with it even more excitement as the Halfpipe finals took place.

Torah Bright claimed first place in the women’s with 85.75. She stomped a backside air, air to fakie tail grab, and a cab 720 indy grab.

She then finished her first place run with a frontside air to backside 540 mute and backside rodeo 540 alley-oop melon grab.

Following closely in second place came Kelly Clark with 82.0 and Queralt Castellet in 3rd with 80.75.

The Men’s final saw an equal amount of electricity, and with the absence of Shaun White, Australia’s Nathan Johnstone took first place with a backside air, front double corked 1080, cab 1080, cab 1080 Taipan grab, frontside 900 mute grab and backside with melon grab. He scored 94.75, with 2nd place going to Luke Mitrani with 92.75 and Louie Vito in 3rd place with 86.75.

After gaining those all important points, I’m sure the Winter Olympics at Sochi 2014, won’t be out of sight for these Olmypic hopefuls.

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