snowboardBackflips, 900s rule the show in
Snowboarding Big Air

MOUNT SNOW, Vt. -- After a cancelled practice on Friday, a postponement, a change of venue, and a change in the competition format due to high winds and safety concerns, the men's and women's Snowboarding Big Air events finally took flight as ESPN's Winter X Games ended Sunday.

Instead of the regular Big Air format, with a best-of-three jump format, the riders for both Skiing and Snowboarding Big Air were moved to the Slopestyle course where a smaller kicker was used and each athlete had two runs with the best one counting as the final score.

Peter Line
Line stops to sign autographs after claiming the gold medal in Men's Snowboarding Big Air.
Veteran snowboarder Peter Line, who was in sixth place after the first round, stormed back in the final run of the competition, landing a perfect switch front side 900 that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Line gained so much momentum coming down the landing he was unable to stop and crashed into the mob of people in the front row.

Line was stoic in his evaluation of his run. Or perhaps it was the mix of high altitude and wind-chill that easily negated the 20-degree temperature.

"I think I remember landing it," he said. "I think I remember landing it. I definitely remember the crowd."

Behind Line in second place was Jason Borgstede, who reeled off a switch front side 720, the same trick as Line minus a half-spin. Borgstede was one of several riders who let it all out in the final run.

"Last year I had a really bad time and I let the pressure get to me," said Borgstede. "This time I just put it aside and wanted to do a trick and try to think of it like practice."

At the time, it looked like it would be enough, but that was before Line broke out the 900 with a full-upright, no-hands landing.

"I had pulled up like five points ahead of the next guy at the time but you just never know, you never know," said Borgstede.

After seeing Jason Brown maintain the top spot throughout much of the first round, the second round saw the top spot change hands three times and numerous riders went in and out of the second and third spots. Line's winning 900 came on the last run of the competition.

Although the competition was over, to the delight of the crowd, Marc-Andre Tarte attempted a 1080 but came up well short on the landing.

In the women's Big Air final, Tara Dakides finally won Big Air gold, after finishing second, fourth and fifth in previous X Games. She nailed a backflip on her first run to secure the gold. Dakides, the only competitor to win two gold medals at this year's Winter X Games, said the change in venues was not a problem.

"It was smaller than usual but it was good," she said. "I liked it."

Leah Wagner, who was participating in her first Winter X Games, finished second to Dakides with a solid front flip in the first round. She also felt the change in venue had little effect on the competition.

"No. not at all," said Wagner. "I actually liked this jump better than the other one."

Men's Snowboarding Big Air Results
  Name Run 1 Run 2 Total
1. Peter Line 73.33 86.00 86.00
2. Jason Borgstede 74.33 83.33 83.33
3. Kevin Jones 77.00 81.67 81.67
4. Jason Brown 78.67 59.67 78.67
5. Travis Parker 78.00 42.67 78.00
6. Andrew Crawford 46.33 76.00 76.00
7. Bjorn Leines 72.33 75.33 75.33
8. Kevin Sansalone 75.00 60.33 75.00
9. Roger Hjelmstadstuem 72.67 37.33 72.67
10. Myles Hallen 64.67 72.00 72.00
11. Joni Makinen 38.67 71.33 71.33
12. Joni Malmi 70.00 65.67 70.00
13. Aaron Bishop 67.00 69.67 69.67
14. Nicolo Drago 69.33 41.00 69.33
15. Jussi Oksanen 44.33 68.67 68.67
16. Blaise Rosenthal 68.33 41.33 68.33
17. Jimmy Halopoff 67.67 41.33 67.67
18. Josh Dirksen 46.33 56.00 56.00
19. Ben Hinkley 53.33 53.00 53.33
20. Marc-Andre Tarte 41.67 46.33 46.33
21. Chris Engelsman 39.33 45.00 45.00
22. J.P. Walker 35.67 41.33 41.33

Women's Snowboarding Big Air Results
  Name Run 1 Run 2 Total
1. Tara Dakides 78.00 44.67 78.00
2. Leah Wagner 48.33 73.33 73.33
3. Jessica Dalpiaz 67.33 33.00 67.33
4. Mica Fish 64.33 31.00 64.33
5. Kimberly Bohnsack 63.33 44.33 63.33
6. Janet Matthews 29.00 60.33 60.33
7. Leslee Olson 46.33 36.67 46.33
8. Barrett Christy 45.00 40.67 45.00
9. Tara Zwink 33.00 42.00 42.00
10. Tina Dixon 37.00 36.33 37.00
11. Sara Osterberg 34.33 36.67 36.67
12. Jaime MacLeod 33.67 34.33 34.33
13. Ali Berntsen 28.67 26.00 28.67

 Peter Line lands the perfect switch front side 900 to take gold.
avi: 1401 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Tara Dakides proves to be the goddess of big air.
avi: 1101 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Tara Dakides fights off the cold and the competition en route to gold.
wav: 159 k
RealAudio: 14.4 | 28.8 | 56.6

 Peter Line lets it out after taking gold.
wav: 212 k
RealAudio: 14.4 | 28.8 | 56.6

Q&A with Peter Line

Xspeak: Snowboarding