Mac Forehand wins Visa Big Air with triple cork 1800s

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American Mac Forehand began 2023 with his first major senior ski big air title and ended it with another at the Visa Big Air at Copper Mountain, Colorado, on Saturday.

Forehand, who was 11th in his Olympic debut last year, scored 93 and 94 points on his last two runs — two different triple cork 1800s — to win by two points over Italian Miro Tabanelli. Olympic gold medalist Birk Ruud of Norway took third.

Forehand’s biggest career title also came with a clutch final run at last January’s X Games. He landed a 2160 and received a perfect score of 50 at that event. He also won the 2018 World junior title.

Later in snowboard halfpipe, Olympic silver medalist Queralt Castellet of Spain landed awkwardly on the lip, fell through the air and crashed toward the bottom of the pipe, hitting her helmet on the ground late in her second run. The competition was stopped for 13 minutes. Castellet did not take her third and final run.

Choi Gaon, a 15-year-old from South Korea, landed three 900s in her 92.75-point winning run immediately after the delay.

Last January, she won the X Games at age 14, breaking Chloe Kim’s record as the youngest snowboard halfpipe champion in that event’s history.

Kim is expected to return to competition next month for the first time since repeating as Olympic champion last year.

Olympic champion Ayumu Hirano of Japan landed a triple cork 1440 on his last run to go from last place to first place with 90 points. It held up.

Frenchwoman Tess Ledeux claimed women’s ski big air with 95.75- and 93.25-point runs. She edged Swiss Mathilde Gremaud by 3.5 points.

Ledeux and Gremaud took silver and bronze in the event’s Olympic debut last year. Gold medalist Eileen Gu did not contest big air at Copper, but did win Friday’s halfpipe.

Highlights from Friday and Saturday ski and snowboard halfpipe and big air finals in Copper air Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET on CNBC (big air) and 4:30 on NBC (halfpipe).

All coverage also streams on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app for subscribers of those channels, plus on Peacock

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