When: April 17th-20th
Where: Saas Fee, Switzerland
Saturday was obviously highly anticipated, as it was the day of the slopestyle finals, and Shaun was going to compete! Symbolic for the events laid back relaxed attitude was my first sight of White, laying on his back stretching and chillin' at the second kicker with a couple homies. I think, he was stoked to be at a contest where he didn't have thousands of screeching pubesants wanting an autograph.
The finals presented the spectators with an amazing standard of riding. Again, Gian-Luca Cavigeli was ripping hard with a run consisting of a huuugggee and super styled Fs 3 over the second booter, followed by a Bs Rodeo 7. Tonton Holland was feeling it again aswell with huge Bs and Fs 7's, almost sticking a huge Bs 10, but kinda wheelieing it out in the landing. The local superstar and contest father, Fredi Kalbermatten displayed ripping at it's finest with super smooth inverted 7's spun Bs and Fs.
In the days before the comp, there was much controversy over why White was allowed to skip the qualifications. Those tongues were silenced quickly by his three run's, which were from another world. His winning run consisted of a Inverted Cab 9 off the snowbox, to a Fs 10 over the second kick and a Cab 10 on the bottom step over, proving why he is the best contest rider in the world. There was no doubt that he would be taking first! The only other rider that was close to contending with White was Finn Juuso Laivisto with his varied runs, showing his crowd pleasing double backflip, and an array of super styled spins. Being stuck filming the whole time, I kept on asking myself how the hell I was going to catch White and have a few words.
The award ceremony proved to be interesting, as the President of the TTR and rider legend Reto Lamm gave a couple words explaining the whole situation with the TTR crown. He explained that with his win, White became the new No. 1 of the TTR, but that Kevin Pearce would remain this season's tour champion. As compensation, White would recieve a check equalling Pearce's 50K, and a first position for the start of next season's tour, along with the 10K for the contest itself. After the award ceremony people flocked to White for photos etc......making it difficult to get to him. I was almost over it, but not yet! I wasn't going to give up so easily. I was on a freakin' mission and did not dare to show up back at the editorial office empty handed. At that moment I got an idea. I managed to spot his board and strategically placed myself right next to it. All I had to do was wait. He'll have to get his board eventually. I'm a genius! After what seemed like forever I saw Shaun making his way towards me. My plan was starting to take effect. Hahahahah! Before I knew it he was picking up his board right next to me. This was my opportunity! I kindly asked him for a minute and got the down-low of why he was even here. He explained that he was on his way to a meeting with Red Bull at their headquarters in Austria, and thought to swing by here, as he knew he could win the contest and take first place on the TTR tour, regardless of what was going to happen with the TTR crown. He also mentioned his appreciation of what Reto had said and concurred with him. He was stoked to be at a more low key contest again with a relaxed vibe and was diggin' it. I would be too, if I were to win 60K in a day! Hmmmmmm.....I'm still convinced that he showed up at the contest just to mess with the TTR a little.
1. Shaun White 2. Juuso Laivisto 3. Frederik Kalbermatten 4. Seppe Smits 5. Alessandro Boyens 6.Tonton Holland 7. Gian-Luca Cavigeli 8. Victor de la Rue 9. Rafael Foray 10. Fred Evequoz
A big shout out goes to Daniela Meyer and Robbi from Popcorn, Fredi K and Saas Fee for making it all happen.
Check out the report coming up shortly about the Popcorn wallride which happened on Sunday!!!
The event video will be up soon aswell.
Words and Pics: Marko Grgas