Meyen shows experience on tough slopestyle course
COPPER MOUNTAIN – When you’ve won as many snowboarding competitions as Janna Meyen, the awards ceremony could lose significance. Maybe that’s why the three-time defending X Games slopestyle gold medalist forgot to make it to the podium to accept another gold after winning Thursday’s Winter Gravity Games slopestyle finals.Meyen’s score of 88 put her atop the 14-rider field, a whopping 12 points ahead of second-place finisher Silvia Mittermuller. She took that lead with about 20 minutes left in the jam competition, then walked over to the halfpipe to check out the guys practicing for this weekend’s superpipe events. By the time Meyen finally came back, one of her friends had accepted the medal on her behalf. Despite missing the awards ceremony, Meyen said the win was still important to her.
“Every single time I win, it’s mind boggling,” said Meyen, who took home $20,000 for winning. “I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing, because I’ve finally figured something out in the last couple of years. It’ll end eventually, but I’m definitely appreciative every time I’m up there.”Copper’s slopestyle course in the Catalyst Terrain Park was made up of four big kickers leading down to four sets of rails, including a double-kinked, up-flat-down rail which Meyen was the only one to gap jump.The rest of Meyen’s run included a backside 540, a cab 540, a backside 360 and a straight air.
“I’m just glad I pulled my head out of my butt, because I had a really bad day at practice yesterday,” Meyen said. “Last night I told myself I wanted to have fun today no matter what, even if I came in last.” The German rider Mittermuller took home the silver and $10,000, but said she could’ve had a higher score on a different course. Many of the competitors couldn’t keep up enough speed through all four jumps, which forced them to resort to straight airs for much of the day.”The course was really hard to ride, so it didn’t support the technical level of the talent here,” Mittermuller said. “I would’ve loved to do a more technical run, but it’s just so hard on those jumps.”Meyen disagreed.
“I thought this was one of the best courses I’ve ever ridden,” she said. “Every rider is different. I didn’t see any problems with the course.”Japanese rider Izumi Amaike finished third, taking home $7,500.For more stories on the 2005 Winter Gravity Games, visit http://www.vaildaily.com.
Andy Frame can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado