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Gremaud and Hall stand tall at Beijing big air World Cup

Dec 02, 2023·Freeski Park & Pipe
The podium in Beijing © Buchholz/FIS Freeski

It was an electrifying afternoon of action at the 2022 Olympic venue in Shougang Park on Saturday, where Mathilde Gremaud (SUI) and Alex Hall landed on the top of the podium with standout performances at the Beijing big air World Cup.

The site of some of incredible memories at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games just a little less than two years ago, the iconic Shougang big air venue is regarded as the best in the world, and the level of competition at Saturday’s competition hammered home that fact once again as we witnessed some groundbreaking performances in both the women’s and the men’s competitions.


While Gremaud walked away the winner based on qualification results after finals at both of the first two FIS Freeski competitions of the 2023/24 season were cancelled due to weather, on Saturday she showed that she could get the job done in a proper finals showdown, as well.

Gremaud started strong, getting things going on run one with what would be the highest scoring trick of the women’s competition, a carved left double cork 1260 tail grab for 90.25 points.

However, the 23-year-old put herself behind the 8-ball on run two when she had a heavy hand touch on the landing of her switch left double cork 1080 safety, leaving her one last opportunity in run three to make it a perfect three-for-three in World Cup competitions thus far this season.

As she’s done so many times before, Gremaud seized the opportunity, stomping the switch left double cork 1080 safety cleanly for a jump score of 85.25 and a two-jump combined mark of 175.50, giving her her third win of the season and the 10th of her incredible career.

“Winning three in a row, yeah, it’s crazy, and with the week I had, it was super challenging,” said Gremaud after her win, “But getting to ski a finals on a day like today, it’s just amazing. It feels unreal. I’m feeling like I’m in the right place and I’m super happy with today’s results.”

Robbed of what would have been her first World Cup win by Gremaud’s third run heroics was Great Britain’s Kirsty Muir, as the 19-year-old put down a right double cork 1080 safety in run one and a left double cork 1440 cindy in run two for a two jump score of 167.25 and third World Cup podium of her career.

Rounding out the podium was the reigning big air Junior World Champion Flora Tabanelli of Italy, who earned the first podium of her very young World Cup career, nabbing third place in her third World Cup start with a two jump score of 160.75 for her left double cork 1260 safety on run two and her switch left bio 900 mute on run three.


For the men it was Alex Hall finishing off what had been an extremely interesting week of skiing by doing what he does best, lacing together his trademark combination of technical mindbendery and silky smooth style to earn his first World Cup big air win in nearly four years.

The men’s qualifications on Thursday saw the type of trick variety that many in the freeski world have been clamouring for in recent years, with a wide range of butters, bring-backs, and Tokyo drifts often garnering scores equal or better than some of the 1800s that have become the outrageous standard on the contest circuit.

Luckily for Alex Hall, he pretty much wrote the book on the that type of thing, and on Saturday afternoon he put his powers on full display.

Run one was a heater, with A-Hall stomping a right double 1080 bring-back to 900 safety for a 91.75 and the early lead into run two.

In run two he stepped it up a notch, putting together a switch left tailbutter double cork 1440 opposite Japan that, though it scored slightly less than his first hit, would still put him into the 90s with a 90.25 and would give him a score of 182.00 and a strong lead heading into the third and final run.

Run three started with eight of the 10 men in finals still within reach of top spot, meaning that we saw some absolute bangers as the guys threw everything they had at the massive Beijing jump.

Best of the bunch in run three was Andri Ragettli, who put down a switch left double bio 1800 mute for a score of 92.75 which, when added with his second run score of a 90.50 for his left double 1800 cuban gave him a combined score of 181.75 and a piece of the podium.

However, Ragettli’s piece of the podium would end up being a third place, as Canada’s Edouard Therriault put together what was arguably the most explosive performance of the afternoon, stomping a left triple cork 1980 safety on run two and a switch left double bio 1800 mute in run three - just like Ragettli, to finish with a total score of 181.75 for second place and his first career big air World Cup podium.

Despite all the assaults launched on top spot, Hall’s score would stand throughout the final runs, allowing him to drop a smooth left 360 in his victory lap run three as he skied out to his first big air World Cup victory in almost four years.

“The jump was the best it’s been all week and it’s like t-shirt weather out here, nice and slushy,” Hall said from the finish area, “I wasn’t originally planning on coming to this event but I decided I would just come here, enjoy myself, experience China and enjoy the country and just do the tricks I wanted to do without any pressure. It ended up working out, which I’m really stoked about.”

With Beijing in the books the FIS Freeski World Cup stays on in China and moves to the northwest, visiting our second former Olympic venue in two weeks as we return to Secret Garden for the first halfpipe World Cup of the season, going down from 07-09 December, 2023.


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