Summit’s Corning and Gerard make Olympic finals for snowboard big air
Summit Daily News
Summit locals Chris Corning and Red Gerard began their second competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics as they competed in the big air snowboard qualifiers Sunday, Feb. 13.
In big air, Corning and Gerard were looking to improve upon where they finished at the 2018 Winter Olympics, when Corning was just off the podium in fourth, while Gerard finished in fifth.
On Sunday, Corning and Gerard competed alongside fellow Americans Sean Fitzsimons and Dusty Henricksen in big air.
The qualifying field consisted of 29 riders, who performed three runs each with the top two scores being combined to determine who would advance to the 12-man final.
Corning was the first American to drop down the steep slope at the Big Air Shougang venue, located beside the Shougang Industrial Park in Beijing.
Corning performed a frontside 1440 flat spin with a long board grab, which he stomped cleanly in order to score 64.25. After the first round of runs, Corning was tied for 17th.
Gerard directly followed Corning, going down the slope on the opposite of his dominant side to perform a 1620 with a board grab, which he landed cleanly. Gerard topped Corning on his first run, scoring 75.5 to be ranked 10th after the completion of the first round.
Fitzsimons scored a 53.25 on this first run with a backside 1440, while Henricksen washed out on his landing to score a 23.
On Corning’s second run of the day, he needed a higher score but was not able to land a huge backside spin. He scored 17.50, meaning his third run would determine whether he would make the finals.
Gerard’s second run looked flawless in the air as he performed a backside 1620 with good execution on the landing. He improved upon his first run score, earning an 80 to move into second with a combined score of 155.50.
Fitzsimons drastically improved his placement on his second run as he moved into the top 12 with a 68.75 with a frontside triple cork. And Henricksen completed his first clean run of the competition in order to score a 72.75. Henricksen still needed to land his final run in order to have a chance of making it into the final.
On his final run of the day, Corning was in need of a score to push him into the top 12, and he did not disappoint. He scored 81.75 on a huge 1620 backside spin with perfect grabs and a clean landing. He combined for a score of 146 to place 10th to make the cutoff for the finals.
Gerard put down his third clean run of qualifications, this time with a switch backside 1620, which garnered him a slightly higher score than his first run with a 78.75. He combined for a score of 158.75 to place third overall, qualifying to finals.
Fitzsimons failed to land his last run, meaning he did not receive a score high enough to advance, placing 17th. Henricksen also failed to land his final run and did not advance to the finals, placing 21st.
Corning and Gerard will compete in the snowboard big air final, their second final of this Olympics, at 10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14. The event will be broadcast live on NBC and Peacock TV.
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