Kelly Clark secured her third consecutive Winter X Games gold medal in what ended up being a historic showing of air in the Women’s SuperPipe Final on Saturday night. But while Clark successfully defended her gold medal, the night was stolen by silver medalist Elena Hight who landed a trick that had never been landed before in competition — by a man or a woman.
Hight kicked off her silver medal run with a backside 900 but followed it up with a historic backside double alley-oop rodeo And if a trick is that complicated to say, just imagine how epic it is to actually pull something like it off.
“I guess I had a lot of time to hang out at the top and think about it,” Hight said. “I was trying to decide if I should throw (the double rodeo) first run or not, but that’s what I came here to do, so I thought I’d just throw it.”
But while Hight’s incredible backside double alley-oop rodeo was the most historic single trick of the night — and probably the Winter X Games as a whole — it wasn’t enough to win her gold, which says a lot about Kelly Clark’s massive run. Hight gave us the best trick, but Clark ended up turning in the more technically difficult run of the event, starting with a spinning a frontside 1080 and going straight into a Cab 720 right out of the gate.
After her gold medal run, Clark said that it was the most technically difficult run of her career.
“I would like to work toward Cab 10s, but really I just think it shows mastery of a trick to get it in up top,” Clark said. “When the judges see me doing a Cab 7 out of a front 10 first hit, it shows that it’s not something that I can just land sometimes, this is part of my run. Tonight was the most technical run I’ve ever put together.”
Hight is right in the same spot she was at Winter X Games XVI, where she finished behind Clark in the SuperPipe Final. However, her back-to-back silver medals are the highest she’s ever finished as a pro as she grabbed bronze medals in the 2007 and 2011 Winter X Games. But while she didn’t finish with the gold medal, she almost ended up with something better with her historic backside double alley-oop rodeo.