Winter X Games: White cruises in qualifying round of superpipe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Winter X Games: White cruises in qualifying round of superpipe

Pat Graham, The Associated Press

ASPEN, Colo. – Even when Shaun White isn’t putting on a show, he’s still putting on a show.

White kept his signature move, the Double McTwist 1260, on the shelf for the qualifying rounds of snowboard superpipe on Thursday night at the Winter X Games.

His 20-foot jumps above the halfpipe more than made up for it.

Playing it safe, White still blew away the competition, scoring 97.66 points on his final run. He beat the next-best finisher, Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland, by 9.33 points, a landslide in this event.

White’s Olympic teammates Louie Vito and Greg Bretz also earned spots in Friday night’s finals, but another Vancouver-bound American, Scotty Lago, failed to make the field.

Vito needed a strong final run to sneak in, staving off a wipeout midway through his performance.

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White’s ‘Big Air’ package was unparalleled. He soared into the lights, 20 feet, 9 inches above the pipe, on his first run, then went 22-2 on his second. Everything else about the two trips down the superpipe – including his double-cork jumps – was solid.

And solid for White is spectacular for pretty much everyone else.

Now, the big question: Will White incorporate the Double McTwist 1260 into his bag of tricks for the final?

“I think I’m going to go for it,” he said shortly after his run on the ESPN broadcast. “I’m feeling good. I’m basically going to do hopefully a little bit of what I did tonight and some double McTwist 1260s.”

SKATING TO SKIING: As a kid, Kaya Turski thought her future was in in-line skating, not skiing.

An accomplished rollerblader, the Canadian would skate on everything from railings at the local bank to obstacles at the skate park. She entered competitions around the world, winning her share.

Some things never change.

Turski switched from skates to skis nearly five years ago and has rapidly adapted to the rails and jumps set in snow, not concrete. Turski won the women’s skiing slopestyle event Thursday, edging Keri Herman and Grete Eliassen.

“This is pretty similar to rollerblading, with the rails, balance and air sense,” explained Turski, who’s from Montreal. “So I picked it up pretty quick.”

Turski has had quite a few bumps along the way.

Most notably, there was her wipeout at the 2006 Icer Air competition in San Francisco. Doing tricks off a custom-made 100-foot ramp – lined with tons of imported snow – Turski under-rotated, causing her to land backward. In trying to recover, she traveled into the steps on the side of the course and rolled all the way down, catching a board near the end and crashing. She was pretty banged up, and to this day doesn’t like to watch the footage, widely available on YouTube.

“It was brutal, but here I am,” she said. “It was like a totally freak kind of accident. It wasn’t regular skiing.”

The next season, Turski tore up her right knee, causing her to miss more time.

“It’s annoying being the injured girl,” the 21-year-old said, smiling.

She’s making up for lost time, though. Turski won the bronze last season and gold this time around.

On her final run Thursday, Turski cranked rapper Lil’ Wayne on her iPod and jammed all the way down the mountain – nailing all her tricks.

KICKERS: Justin Hoyer won the snowmobile freestyle event Thursday night, while Joe Parsons was second and Caleb Moore took third. … Lizzy Beerman was taken to the hospital for observation after a fall on her second superpipe run. There was no immediate update on her status.

– AP sportswriter Eddie Pells contributed to this report.

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