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Schiller Takes X-Games Gold

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Mother Nature Plays Havoc With Skiing Slopestyle

It wasn't the event he planned on winning, but TJ Schiller will take the gold anyway. With snowfalls blanketing the Slopestyle course on Buttermilk Mountain at Aspen/Snowmass, the Skiing Slopestyle Final became Skiing Best Trick. Instead of riding the full course, all 20 competitors took two runs on its final jump, taking the best of two scores. Schiller (Vernon, BC, Canada) went big with a switch nose 1080 on his first jump, good enough for a 91.33 and the gold.

"I was pretty bummed we couldn't have Slopestyle. I was really working on my rail tricks," Schiller said. "Then mother nature decided to dump a foot of snow on us, so there's nothing you can do about it. But it was a great show, and it was really great to be here." "We do this kind of thing all the time," he said about Best Trick, "whether it's in competition, or just riding the mountain."

 

TJ Schiller.
Photo by Tony Donaldson

Charles Gagnier (Victoriaville, QC, Canada), who landed a switch 1080 mute grab to take the silver, believed the elements were definitely a challenge. "The final run was hard because we were waiting so long, I really didn't know what would happen. By the second run, I got over it," Gagnier said. "Watching the other guys doing it, I got really pumped up. I felt I had to go big." Andreas Hatveit (Sundalen, Norway) overcame sore ribs suffered at the US Open of Skiing to take the bronze with a switch true tail 1080 and a score of 87.66. His excitement at finishing with a medal was more than enough to dull the pain. "For the last five years, my goal has been to get to the X Games podium. I was too stoked to feel the pain," Hatveit said.

SKIING BEST TRICK
(Originally Skiing Slopestyle. Due to snow, competition was modified to a Best Trick format with all 20 competitors, in a best of two run format)

Final Results from Aspen/Snowmass on Sunday, January 29, 2006
1. TJ Schiller 505 Vernon, BC, Canada 91.33
2. Charles Gagnier 500 Victoriaville, QC, Canada 89.33
3. Andreas Hatveit 541 Sudndalen, Norway 87.66
4. Candide Thovex 509 La Clusaz, France 83.00
5. Jon Olsson 502 Are, Sweden 82.00
6. John Spriggs 520 Vail, Colo. 81.66
7. Sammy Carlson 512 Tigard, Ore. 80.66
8. Corey Vanular 507 Niagra-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada 79.00
9. Simon Dumont 366 Bethel, Maine 78.33
10. Peter Olenick 506 Carbondale, Colo. 75.00
11. Laurent Favre 510 La Clusaz, France 73.00
12. JF Houle 519 Drummondville, QC, Canada 68.66
13. Derek Spong 513 Woodinville, Wash. 67.00
14. Jacob Wester 516 Stockholm, Sweden 65.33
15. Pep Fujas 511 Sandy, Utah 65.33
16. Steele Spence 514 Aspen, Colo. 64.66
17. Tanner Rainville 515 Squaw Valley, Calif. 54.33
18. Rory Bushfield 517 Balzac, AB, Canada 43.00
19. Josh Bibby 508 Vernon, BC, Canada 14.00
20. Tim Durtschi 521 Bend, Ore. 11.00


Rory Bushfeild in the middle of
his big switch double back-flip.
Photo by Tony Donaldson

 

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