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  • Jen Booton

5 Biggest Moments From Burton Open

Jake Burton remembered and records set at snowboarding's longest-running competition

The world’s longest-running snowboarding event -- coined the “granddaddy of snowboarding” by Red Bull -- took place last week in Vail, Colorado.


Over a five-day period from Feb. 26 to Feb. 29, the world’s best snowboarders competed across the disciplines of slopestyle [terrain park] and the halfpipe at the 2020 Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships.


Here are some of the week’s biggest moments in pictures:


1- Dusty Henricksen getting tackled after sticking the event’s first quad cork

Dusty Henricksen sent fans at Vail into a thunderous roar when he attempted and stuck the event’s first backside quadruple cork 1800. One of the hardest moves in snowboarding, the move demands four off-axis flips and five full rotations.


No one was expecting it. Henricksen said he made a decision on the fly to add another rotation to his planned 1620 to avoid landing switch.


“So I figured, what’s another flip?” he said.


Henricksen was tackled by many of the pro snowboarders in attendance. He won silver behind Japanese snowboarder Yuki Kadono. Kadona reclaimed his podium win from 2015 after landing a switch backside 1620 off the final jump.


2- Scotty James’ epic halfpipe streak comes to an end

After going undefeated for nearly two years in halfpipe competitions, Australian pro snowboarder Scotty James slid to third at the Burton Open.


James won bronze at the event behind Yuto Totsukam, who earned his first-ever Burton Open win with a switch backside 1080, a switch frontside 1260, and a frontside 1440. Jan Scherrer landed the first alley-oop 900 in a modern snowboarding contest for silver.


James, 25, began his streak after winning bronze at the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018. He won the Burton US Open halfpipe event in 2019, and most recently took golds at the X Games and Dew Tour. However, his streak came to an end at the end of last month when he won silver on the halfpipe in Calgary, Canada during the FIS World Cup. Still, he’d accumulated enough points to clinch his fourth FIS World Cup title.


3- Xuetong Cai earns China’s First Burton US Open title


Xuetong Cai became the first Chinese snowboarder to win a Burton US Open title after holding onto her lead after a killer first run that included a combined frontside 900 with a large stylish air to fakie.


Her win comes two years after Chinese snowboarder Jiayu Liu earned the Olympic silver medal during a halfpipe performance at PyeongChang. It was China’s first-ever winter Olympics medal.


The two women snowboarders have been a force in helping to grow the sport in China. China will host the winter Olympics in 2022.


4- Jake Burton remembered

Burton’s founder and sport pioneer Jake Burton died in November 2019, but his spirit lived on at his company’s flagship competition last week. Memorials to Jake were all over the mountain, with his name printed on signs and flags, and stickered on helmets and boards.


On Friday, the competition’s second-to-last day, hundreds of riders gathered before the lifts opened to participate in the Ride for Jake memorial. They all climbed the mountain in a gondola to ride together down Jake’s Stash, a trail Vail dedicated to Jake in his memory.


Jake died at the age of 65 after a long battle with cancer.


5- Veteran women top the podium in slopestyle

Jamie Anderson won her eighth Burton Open title in slopestyle. Right behind her was Anna Gasser, another snowboard veteran.


Anderson, 29, first appeared at the Burton Open 13 years ago. Gasser, 28, won gold in big air at the 2018 Olympics. The two of them haven’t shared a podium at the US Open since 2015.


To give some perspective, last year’s defending champion, 19-year-old Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand, was just six years old when Anderson started competing at the US Open.


“We hold each other up because we’re a couple of 90s kids, everybody else was born in the 2000s and up,” Anderson said of Gasser in the Denver Post.

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