The men’s Big Air Finals stage is set and it’s a battle of heavyweights including Red Gerard, Mark McMorris, Max Parrot and Su Yiming.
Parrot, the slopestyle gold medalist, recorded a day-high 164.75 to advance to the finals. He is joined by Canadian teammates Mark McMorris — a three-time bronze medalist — and Darcy Sharpe, who finished 12th for the final qualifying spot.
Days after missing the podium in men’s slopestyle — an event he won gold in 2018 — Team USA’s Red Gerard returned to the slopes in full form, finishing third in the qualifying round. On a day full of falls and collisions, Gerard posted a consistent performance and was the only athlete to score above 75 in all three of his runs.
Chris Corning was the only other American to advance to the finals with a 10th place qualifying performance. Corning made his Olympic debut in PyeongChang when he narrowly missed the podium in Big Air, finishing fourth.
Americans Sean Fitzsimmons and Dusty Henricksen did not advance to the finals, finishing 17th and 21st, respectively.
While many of the medal favorites took care of business in the qualifying rounds, there were several surprise performances that could pose a serious threat in the finals.
Takeru Otsuka finished second between Parrot and Gerard, thanks to a massive third-run that earned him 91.5 points — the highest individual run of the day. The Japanese snowboarder finished tenth in the men’s slopestyle finals.
Another surprise came when reigning Olympic Big Air Champion Sebastien Toutan failed to qualify. The lone Canadian to miss out on the finals, Toutant struggled in his second run before suffering a serious collision on his third and final run. Toutant eventually walked off on his own accord but only after receiving medical attention.
With 12 snowboarders remaining, the Finals are set for Tuesday, Feb. 15, at midnight ET.
This is the final snowboarding event at the 2022 Winter Olympics.