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Aspen, CO, Jan. 18, 2002–It took a tie-breaker to determine the winner of the Skiing Slopestyle event at Buttermilk Mountain. Tanner Hall and C.R. Johnson each earned scores of 70.00 points during the final round, tying them for the lead. Hall was awarded the gold medal on the merit of his second-best score, a 69.33. Johnson settled for the silver with a second-best score of 59.67, and Jon Olsson took the bronze with a 69.67.
The 18-year-old Hall now has two ESPN Winter X Games gold medals under his belt. The Kalispell, Mont. native won the gold in the 2001 Big Air competition at Mount Snow, Vt. Hall will attempt to add to his collection of Winter X medals when he competes in the SuperPipe event on Friday.
Johnson earned his score of 70.00 in his final attempt of the day, securing the silver medal. He finished with the bronze medal in last year’s Big Air competition. Johnson geared up for his final run after disappointing runs earlier in the final round. “I was feeling really good in practice. My first two runs were a little sketchy, but then I pulled it all together in the end. I couldn’t be anymore excited,” Johnson said after the event. Johnson, also 18-years-old, is from Truckee, Calif.
Bronze-medallist Jon Olsson is the elder statesman of the three medal-winners, at 19 years of age. Olsson, from Are, Sweden, is also the only non-American to earn a medal. In response to lackluster performances in his first two runs of the finals, Olsson, like Johnson, decided to go for broke in his final run. “I just changed everything up,” Olsson said. “I didn’t do a switch-rodeo for two months, and then I tried it and it worked.” The bronze marked the first-ever ESPN Winter X Games medal for Olsson, whose previous-best finish was eighth. “I didn’t have it until now,” Olsson admitted. “Everything went really bad,” and finally “I’m super stoked.”
Steele Spence gave the home-crowd something to cheer for as he earned himself a seventh-place finish. Spence, who hails from Aspen, narrowly missed-out on finishing sixth, losing the spot in a tie-breaker to Iannick Brouillette. Each competitor’s best run received a score of 63.00 points, but Brouillette’s second-best score was higher than Spence’s.