Louif Paradis claims Street gold
ASPEN, Colo. -- French Canadian urban snowboarding wizard Louis-Felix Paradis joined a rare fraternity of athletes Friday by winning his second gold medal at X Games Aspen 2013, dominating the Snowboard Street final after taking home Real Snow gold Thursday.
The man known as "Louif" stomped a clinching transfer between the two down rails on the massive course, a front boardslide to back lipslide, with two minutes left in the 18-minute jam-session final. The judges rewarded him with the highest score of the final, 42 points, which boosted his best-two-runs score to 75. Colorado local Dylan Alito claimed silver with 62 points, and X Games rookie Dylan Thompson took bronze with 59.
"My main focus was on the Real Snow because filming video parts is what I like best," said Paradis, who lives in a house in the woods outside Quebec City. "Competing is not really where I'm at. I don't think it's about winning when you're filming, so the Real Snow felt really good, but this one feels good right now, too. I was super nervous all morning. On the chairlift with my girlfriend I was shaking. I just didn't want to hurt myself, but as the contest got going I saw that I could get some good scores."
After two 15-minute heats narrowed the field from 10 riders to six -- a group that did not include defending gold medalist Forest Bailey, who failed to qualify -- Paradis led the charge in a wildly creative jam session. Jaeger Bailey, 19, and 2012 Snowboard Street silver medalist Ryan Paul got inverted on the urban subway-themed course, which was roughly twice as large as last year's. And Alito added a highly technical rail trick -- a cab 270 onto the exposed flat closeout rail, then a 270 off -- that sealed a huge improvement from his last-place finish in 2012.
"That was pretty nerve-racking to do," Alito said. "Not many people do 270s onto closeout rails. It's hard to get on and be locked on then pop off without hitting that thing."
Paradis' double-gold performance this year comes after two consecutive years winning silver in Real Snow. He also won silver in Snowboard Street in 2011, and took home Fan Favorite in Real Snow in 2012. While his initial celebration was subdued, a trio of his fellow competitors -- Alito, Thompson and Jaeger Bailey -- followed the final by removing their shirts and throwing massive laid-out backflips off the biggest gap jump, drawing a huge cheer from the crowd.