All eyes on Beijing for big air return to iconic Shougang

by Chandler
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However, Gremaud is going to be in tough against the skier who finished just above her on the Olympic big air podium in 2022, as reigning big air World Champion Tess Ledeux (FRA) is also skiing exceptionally well so far in the early going of this season, finishing just back of Gremad in second place at both Chur and Stubai.

Ledeux lost out on Beijing 2022 big air gold to China’s Eileen Gu in Beijing by just .75 points at those Games, and big jumps like the one here in Shougang Park suit Ledeux’s big-spinning style to a T. Look for the 22-year-old Frenchwoman and reigning big air World Champion to send it all the way to 1620 at some point this week.

While Gu herself isn’t here in Beijing (although she is set to drop in next week at the Secret Garden halfpipe World Cup), there’s a few other strong contenders to watch out for on the women’s side of things, including 2023 World Championships silver medallist Sandra Eie (NOR), big air Junior World Champion Flora Tabanelli (ITA) and Beijing 2022 fifth-place finisher Kirsty Muir (GBR).


With the whole men’s Beijing 2022 Olympic podium sitting this one out, things are somewhat wide open on the men’s side of things in terms of looking at past Beijing results as a sign of what’s to come this week. With that being said, a look down the list of starts here at Shougang shows no shortage of firepower.

On top of the list of contenders, as he so often is, you’ll find Andri Ragettli, who’ll be coming out swinging after failing to make finals here at Beijing 2022. Ragettli has been held off the podium at both the weather-shortened World Cups thus far in 2022/23, so expect the World Cup’s all-time most successful freeskier to have a little extra motivation this week.

Ragettli’s biggest obstacle to the top of the Beijing podium might be Troy Podmilsak (USA), as the reigning big air World Champion boasts one of the heaviest trick repertoires on the planet. Still the only skier on earth to stomp a forward triple cork 2160 (as far as we know), Podmilsak will be hitting the big jump in Beijing jump for the first time this week, and it should play to right to his strengths.

This post was originally published on this site

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