Worlds: Canada sweeps snowboard Big Air as Mark McMorris soars and Laurie Blouin comes back in thriller

After two strong jumps, McMorris held off challengers while countrywoman Blouin edged out New Zealand's Zoi Sadowski Synnott by a single point. Anna Gasser finished fourth.

By Nick McCarvel
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Oh, Canada!

The Maple Leaf was flying high over the FIS Snowboard and Freestyle Ski World Championships in Aspen on Tuesday, as Canadians Mark McMorris and Laurie Blouin captured the snowboard Big Air titles in the final event of this year's worlds.

McMorris used his first two jumps to secure victory over fellow Canadian Max Parrot, who finished in second, while Blouin's final jump is what won her the gold, catapulting her past New Zealand's Zoi Sadowski Synnott, who earlier in the week had become the first snowboarder to win back-to-back slopestyle world titles.

The margins were slim for both the men and women: McMorris won with a 179.25 to Parrot's 178.25, while Norway's Marcus Kleveland, the men's champion in slopestyle, won bronze with a 176.25. Kleveland hit the biggest jump of the day, a 97.75 on his final attempt.

For the women, Blouin's 177.75 was a point better than Sadowski Synnott, the Canadian using a 89.75 off of a cab double 1080 Indy for the win. Japan's Onitsuka Miyabi finished third, scoring a 174.75.

Big Air Olympic and world champ Anna Gasser was fourth.

'Proud' day for Canadian double

McMorris is a two-time Olympic bronze medallist in slopestyle, but won his biggest prize yet in Big Air with his title in Aspen, having previously captured four X Games gold in the event.

McMorris failed to make the slopestyle final earlier this week, making the Big Air victory that much more sweet.

"It's 'dream come true' type of stuff," McMorris told FIS TV after his victory. "I had a tough go with slopestyle. The weather provided for us. I'm honoured to be standing on top of the podium. It's not an easy one [event-wise] to be standing on top of these days.

"It's an honour to stand beside Laurie, I'm super proud of her. I'm just really, really proud."

McMorris' win came off the back of two strong jumps in his first two attempts: A switch back triple 1620 Stalefish (92.75) and then a back triple 1620 Weddle (86.50).

It's the first time Big Air has been held at worlds since 2017, when Staale Sandbech of Norway won. Sandbech finished eighth on Tuesday.

Women: Blouin emerges in a flurry of a finish

Sadowski Synnott looked in prime position to claim a third world gold and second just this week after her slopestyle triumph, but Blouin came up with the goods right when she needed them.

The silver medallist in slopestyle at PyeongChang 2018 hit a cab double 1080 Indy for 89.75, enough to launch her into first and overtake the Kiwi. Sadowski Synnott, jumping last, couldn't deliver on her final attempt.

"I’m so proud," Blouin said to FIS TV after. "I mean this trick is not fully consistent for me. I still have to do a little bit of work, but just sending it on the last run. I’m still shaking. The level was insane. I mean everyone just rode so well."

The Austrian Gasser had an off day at the office for fourth place, while 2018 silver medallist Jamie Anderson finished in seventh.