Kieran Fagan (USA) came to Switzerland as the Junior vice-champion in both freeski slopestyle and Big Air. On Monday he finished first in slopestyle at Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games and on Wednesday he will look to add another silverware to his collection.
Fagan put himself in the box seat with a 90.66-point display on the second run but he and the rest knew that Matej Svancer (CZE), the top scorer in qualification, still had two attempts left. But after posting 85.00 in his penultimate effort, Svancer risked it all on the final run and fell. That left the way clear for Hunter Henderson (USA) to join his friend and roommate on the podium.
“I do not think that I would have skied as well if it was not for him,” Henderson said of Fagan, whom he has known since he was 11. “It was really helpful to have him push me.”
The pair was separated by Melvin Moren (SWE). He summed up why this sport is grabbing the attention of so many at Lausanne 2020.
“Freestyle is all about friendships,” said the Swede who pulled out an 89.33-point effort in the third run to catapult himself into the silver medal position. “I’ve got so many new friends here, Hunter and Kiernan and others.”