Freestyle Skiing – Freestyle skaters Mathilde Grimmode and Andre Raggilli challenge challenging conditions in Aspen and win their first medals at the World Championships. Gremaud wins silver in Slopestyle, Ragettli becomes World Champion.
From a Swiss point of view, the cloud cover in Aspen opened a rift at the right moment on Saturday. With a little sun on his back and a little better visibility, Graubünden’s Andre Raggilli reached their third and final World Cup gold medal at Slopestyle in Aspen – and the jury rewarded him for his boldness. Despite still tough wind conditions, the 22-year-old from Graubünden experimented with a very technically demanding run, managed to overtake the course without any mistakes and topped the lead with 90.65 points.
Only Alexander Hall, the best in qualifying, could have caught Ragitli. The 22-year-old American, whose parents studied at the University of Zurich, remained behind the Swiss with 86.01 points and had to settle for a bronze. Silver went to Hole citizen Colby Stephenson. Kim Goebser, the second Swiss to qualify for the final, convincingly finished fifth.
For Raggilli, who has scored best in the World Cup with impressive regularity and made it to the podium 20 times in 39 matches, he has finally succeeded in a major event. He finished seventh in the Pyeongchang Olympics, after being injured in the last World Championships in Park City two years ago. At the end, Raggettli said, “It’s a great day for me.”
Mathilde Grimode also took her first World Cup medal in the women’s category, although she was less fortunate in the weather than Raggilli. Ultimately, winning the silver was enough for the 21-year-old Friborg woman behind Chinese Eileen Jo, who had already won the gold medal in a half-pipe on Friday. While Go, the 17-year-old world champion, took advantage of good conditions on her first attempt, Grimm faced wind and fog on every round of her rounds.
The fact that she brought her second attempt at the tournament at a safe temperature bears witness to the experience already experienced by the PyeongChang Olympiad. After a training accident, Gremaud’s teammate and Olympic champion Sarah Hofflin didn’t even start to qualify. Like Grimaud, the 30-year-old will likely return from Geneva to qualifying for the Big Air Final on Monday.