TIGNES, France -- Torin Yater-Wallace won his second consecutive X Games Tignes gold medal in the Men's Ski SuperPipe competition on Friday. The youngest rider in the competition, 17-year-old Yater-Wallace has made the podium in every X Games event he's entered, since his first in 2011, with six medals total from Tignes and Aspen.
"I think everybody skied really well tonight," said Yater-Wallace, who also earned SuperPipe gold in Tignes in 2012. "It was just such a high-level competition. I was so surprised: I couldn't believe I won again."
Yater-Wallace, X Games Aspen 2013 gold medalist David Wise and locals' favorite Kevin Rolland duked it out for podium positions all night, taking turns knocking one another off the top spot and turning the Tignes superpipe into a king-of-the-mountain battle.
"Torin and I have had this amazing rivalry going on all year," Wise said. "I know I always have to bring my A-game when he's around. It's going to be a blast skiing against him next year at the Olympics."
Ski halfpipe will make its Olympic debut in Sochi, Russia, in 2014, and the French halfpipe team, led by Rolland, and the U.S. halfpipe team, led by Yater-Wallace and Wise, will be favorites for the podium.
On Friday night, Yater-Wallace took the top spot first, leading after Run 1 with 91.0. Wise and Rolland both unseated him in Run 2, bumping him into bronze-medal position, but Yater-Wallace fired back in Run 3, improving his score to a 93.66 with a run featuring a rightside double cork 1260 mute grab, leftside cork 1080 tail grab, switch rightside cork 720 mute grab, alley-oop double flatspin 900 Japan grab and massive double flatspin 900 Japan grab, leaving him to watch anxiously as Wise and Rolland, who was the top qualifier from the elimination round and dropped in last, attempted to answer.
"I saw Kevin's run, and he's like, the most talented halfpipe skier," Yater-Wallace said after seeing Rolland's final run. "If he had landed that run, I couldn't even imagine how high his score would have been. He's on a mission."
Wise finished in silver-medal position and Rolland grabbed bronze.