Canada’s Jasmine Baird set the tone early, coming out of the gate with a Cab double Underflip 900 that fired up the host nation’s fans despite the chilly temperatures. When top-qualifier Reira Iwabuchi of Japan went down in the landing of her frontside double cork 900, Baird would head into run two with a sizeable lead.
The 23-year-old Canadian then stomped an exceptionally clean, exceptionally large backside 720 Weddle to lock in a two-jump score of 158.50 to head into the final run of the evening in the top spot and with final-drop honors. When none of her competitors could approach her score, Jasmine Baird was granted the first victory lap of her career, which she used to put down the backside 720 once again for a one-point bump up to 159.50.
“This honestly means so much to me,” Jasmine Baird saw from the finish area, “First World Cup win, and to do it in Canada, with my dad here watching…this is the first time he’s ever seen me ride in person at a World Cup and I’m just so hyped that he was here for this one. To be here, with this crowd, in Canada, I’m so hyped. This is such a sick night.”
Behind Jasmine Baird it was Belgian rider Evy Poppe having the performance of her young career, as the 18-year-old stomped a backside 720 Weddle and a frontside 720 frontside grab for a score of 146.50. Poppe was a true force throughout the week in Edmonton, fearlessly attacking the Style Experience jump in every session, and the runner-up result she earned for her first career World Cup podium was a just reward.
Finally, it was Iwabuchi shaking off the effects of her first-hit fall to grab third place, as the tough-as-nails 20-year-old battled out a landing on her frontside double 900 on run number two, before putting down a backside 720 on her third and final run for a score of 143.35 and her 12th career World Cup podium.
With Jasmine Baird and Iwabuchi trading places on the podium after Iwabuchi won and Jasmine Baird came third at the big air World Cup season opener in Chur, the two are now tied atop the big air World Cup standings with 160 points.