B.C.’s Cassie Sharpe and Laurie Blouin opened the Winter X Games with gold-medal performances on Thursday, while fellow Canadian Rachael Karker grabbed a bronze.
Sharpe, from Comox, took first in women’s ski superpipe with a score of 94.00, edging Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru (92.33) and Karker of Erin, Ont., (86.33) for the top spot on the podium.
Sharpe trailed Sildaru heading into her final run, but overtook the lead with a run including back-to-back 900s and a leftside 1080 on the last hit.
“I knew I had to be perfect. If I wasn’t perfect, I wasn’t going to beat Kelly,” said Sharpe. “She beat me in Copper and I knew she could beat me here again today. This was so important to me, it’s a bucket list thing. X Games Aspen is such a prestigious event and I knew I wanted it.”
Sharpe is a now a three-time X Games medallist, having won bronze in Aspen in her successful 2018 season and gold in 2016 at Oslo.
The 26-year-old’s 2018 season also included winning Olympic gold at the PyeongChang Games.
Meanwhile, Blouin, a 2018 Olympic silver medallist, bested Australia’s Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and American Jamie Anderson for a gold in women’s snowboard big air.
The 22-year-old from Stoneham, Que., landed a frontside 900 and a cab double underflip for a combined score of 77.00.
“The X Games mean so much. I’ve been watching the X Games since I was young. For us, it’s the biggest contest of the year. Winning a gold medal at my first X Games…I’m just so stoked,” said Blouin.
Also on Thursday, Quebec City’s Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (93.66) was the top qualifier for the men’s ski slopestyle final that will go on Sunday. Evan McEachran of Oakville, Ont., (87.33) qualified fifth while Teal Harle of Campbell River, B.C., (44.00) didn’t make it through.
And Sebastien Toutant (75.00) of l’Assomption, Que., and Darcy Sharpe (71.00) of Comox qualified for the men’s snowboard big air final scheduled for Friday.