US HEAVIES READY TO THROW HAMMERS
Over on the men’s side of things the host US team is bringing the heat with Red Gerard, Dusty Henricksen, Brock Crouch and Judd Henkes all making their World Cup season debut, where they’ll be dropping in alongside Edmonton second-place finisher Chris Corning and semifinalists Jake Canter and Sean FitzSimons.
It’s a wealth of talent for the US Snowboard squad here in Copper, and even with the fierce international competition their chances of grabbing a least one podium look pretty darn good on paper.
Having said that, the International field is also looking pretty good on paper, with Australia’s Valentino Guseli leading the way after earning his first career World Cup win on Saturday in Edmonton.
Guseli is on a tear to start the season, finishing sixth at the Big Air Chur to open 2022/23, winning in Edmonton, and then on Wednesday qualifying for halfpipe finals here in Copper in fourth place. The 17-year-old is absolutely unmatched in all-around talent right now, and if he qualifies for Copper big air finals as well we might be witnessing the start of a run the likes of which has rarely been seen in competitive snowboarding. Watch this space.
It sure doesn’t stop there, though.
Again on the men’s side the Japanese team is outrageously talented, with Big Air Chur winner Takeru Otsuka, Edmonton finalists Hiroaki Kunitake and Ryoma Kimata, Taiga Hasegawa, Ruka Tobita, and more ready to make some noise here in Copper.
Looking at the contingent from across the Atlantic and it doesn’t get any less intimidating. Jonas Boesiger and Moritz Boll of Switzerland have been exceptional if a bit unlucky so far this season, Kalle Jarvilehto of Finland is fresh off a fifth-place finish in Edmonton, Italian Emiliano Lauzi is guaranteed to be pushing it to the limits, Jakub Hrones of Czechia has perhaps the world’s best 1800 in his trick arsenal…the list goes on.
Oh, and don’t forget about Norway’s Marcus Kleveland, the man with perhaps the finest board control the snowboard world has ever seen. He’s here, too.
Needless to say, we’re looking forward to what’s about to go down over the next few days here at the VISA Big Air presented by Toyota, and we hope you are, too.
WHERE TO WATCH (livestream links below)
skiandsnowboard.live (USA), Eurosport Asia, CBC streaming (CAN), CCTV16 (CHN), CT Sport Plus streaming (CZE), TV3 Sport 3HD (EST), V Sport + (FIN, NOR), L’Equipe streaming (FRA), JSPORTS 2 (JPN), TV3 Sport (LAT, LIT), ESPN Latin America, Polsat Sport News (POL), JOJ Sport (SVK), V Sport Vinter (SWE), SRG SSR (SUI), Viaplay streaming (GBR)