Kyle Smaine wins halfpipe gold at World Championships debut |

Kyle Smaine wins halfpipe gold at World Championships debut

South Lake Tahoe’s Kyle Smaine celebrates a run during the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships Thursday night in Kreischberg, Austria. Smaine took gold in the ski halpipe event, which doubled as his world championships debut.
Courtesy FIS |

KREISCHBERG, Austria — Kyle Smaine made his debut at the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships one to remember. The 23-year-old South Lake Tahoe skier dominated Kreischberg’s halfpipe competition to earn his first world championships title.

Smaine led the competition from start to finish, earning the top spot in Wednesday’s qualifiers before putting down an unbeatable first run in Thursday night’s finals that would ultimately earn him the gold. His winning run scored an 88.00 and included a left-side 1260 tail, right-side 1080 tail, switch 720 opposite safety, right-side 900 high mute and right-side 900 truck driver.

While Smaine was the obvious winner on the night, silver medalist Joffrey Pollet-Villard of France took home the honor of crowd favorite with huge amplitude and an alley-oop flat 540. Bronze went to Switzerland’s Yannic Lerjen, who bumped American Broby Leeds (Vail, Colo.) off the podium on his third and final run.

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