Experience and the boldness of youth triumphed at the US Open halfpipe event on Saturday when veteran Shaun White and 15-year-old Chloe Kim stormed to victory.
American White, a five-time champion in the event, thrilled the crowd earning the top two scores of the day, maintaining a seven-point lead throughout the competition.
He dominated the halfpipe with a technically difficult and stylish run showing that he is still the reigning king of the pipe. White took his run to a whole new height landing what might have been his biggest air ever, coming up even with the 25-foot tall height meter on his first backside hit. From there he blasted into a frontside double cork 1080 stalefish, to Cab double cork 1080 melon, into a frontside inverted 540 stalefish, backside double cork 1260 Japan, finishing with a frontside double cork 1260 stalefish.
This win follows a two-year hiatus from the US Open following his most recent wins in 2013 and 2012.
“It feels great – every time I show up I want to win just as badly as the time before,” he said.
“I took last season off to get pumped on the sport again. I just wanted to have some fun and take a little breather from contests. Now that I’m back, it feels right, it feels good.”
He added, “I’ve been coming to this event since I was a little kid. It’s not only a tradition, it’s one of the world’s best events. Look at the crowd today it was incredible!”
Benjamin Ferguson (USA) moved into second place on his last run with a score of 88.62 and defending champion Taku Hiraoka (JPN) landed in third place with a score of 88.25.
After earning a second place finish in 2015, 15-year old Kim wasn’t content to just win the US Open, she was determined to win it with her very best run.
Chloe earned the top score on her first run and held it through the finals. As the last rider to drop with victory assured, Chloe took the opportunity to show the crowd exactly why she’s the very best. She started off with a massive backside air traveling nearly 30 feet down the pipe, followed by a frontside 1080 tailgrab, into a Cab 1080 stalefish, ending on a frontside 540 Indy for an improved top score of 89.37.
Kim said: “I wasn’t really stoked on my first run. For me, my goal is to be happy with my riding at the end of every contest. So I just wanted to get a rebate on it and just grab everything a little better and go a little bigger. I’m stoked I put it down on my third!”
Xuetong Cai (CHN) took second place with a score of 82.99 following a fourth place finish in 2015, and eight-time US Open halfpipe champion Kelly Clark landed in third with a score of 79.00.