Snowboard’s big air competition brims with thrills, spills and backaches

LAUSANNE, Jan 22 – Germany’s Annika Morgan managed to ride through the pain of a previous injury to take the silver medal in the women’s snowboard big air competition at Lausanne 2020.

Having suffered a broken tailbone at a recent snowboarding World Cup competition she had feared the worst for her Lausanne 2020 Youth Winter Olympic Games.

“I’m very happy to finish in second because I did not think I was going to compete today,” she said. “I really messed up and I landed straight on my butt.

“I left out slopestyle [at Lausanne 2020] because I couldn’t compete and I was in too much pain. I didn’t want to get even more hurt. I’m used to the bumps and bruises now.”

Asanuma Hinari (JPN) finished 12 points ahead and Melissa Peperkamp (NED) took bronze.

Asanuma Hinari (JPN) on her way to the gold medal | Ben Queenborough for OISphotos.com

For gold medallist Asanuma, victory was the culmination of an enjoyable Winter Youth Olympic Games.

“I am happy with my gold medal. I did my best today,” she said. “My effort paid off. The Youth Olympics were a lot of fun and I was happy with the experience.”

Japan had even more success in the men’s snowboard big air competition as Kimata Ryoma won gold with an impressive score of 195 points. His teammate Kawakami Aoto finished with silver.

“Winning the gold medal was the best feeling ever,” Kimata said. “The secret of our success is that we have a facility with a mat so we can practise in the summer.”

The bronze went to Canada’s Liam Brearley, his third medal of the Games. The 16-year-old added to his bronze in the men’s halfpipe and silver in the men’s slopestyle competitions.

“It means everything to me,” he said “I’m super proud of myself. It’s been so important having my friends and family here.

“They get really nervous when they’re watching me. It’s pretty dangerous when we’re all doing triples, but they get over it because they love watching me.”

For Morgan, her next adventure involves travelling to Aspen for the X- Games. She is doing her best to organise a smooth journey.

“I’m trying to get first class or business class,” she said. “So I can lie down. I’ve already got premium economy so that’s good.”

OIS ma/kc/rm

By Olympic Information Service

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