While she won slopestyle gold at the Sierra Nevada 2017 world championships, took silver the following year at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, and had seven career World Cup podiums coming into competition in Calgary, 23-year-old Laurie Blouin had never stood atop the World Cup podium until Sunday, when it all came together under near-perfect conditions on Canadian soil.
As the top qualifier, Laurie Blouin had the honor of dropping last on Sunday and stomped a clean first run that would hold up as the best through all other riders’ second runs. However, instead of cruising through a victory lap, Laurie Blouin dropped in and stepped it up a notch, to the Snow Rodeo fans’ delight.
Starting things off with a frontside 180 on to half-cab off on the down rail, Blouin put down a smooth back lipslide, and a 50-50 frontside 360 tail grab off on the up-rail to finish off the rail sections. Then through the jumps, she dropped a crippler indy on the “shark fin” feature, into a backside 720 melon, and then a perfect frontside 900 tail grab over the final kicker to bump her score up to 79.56 for the career-first.
“It’s crazy,” Laurie Blouin smiled from the finished area, “I’m really stoked to get my first World Cup win here Calgary. I didn’t have to up my score, but I really wanted to do the front side 9 so I was like ‘Might as well go full-on.’ Today was just so nice. I mean, every time I drop I still think ‘Just go have fun’ and I had that same mindset today. It’s so nice that we have a World Cup in Canada. The last one was in Quebec and we’re not going to have it anymore, so it’s nice that there’s an international contest in Canada.”
Second place went to Silje Norendal of Norway, who made a strong return to World Cup competition after injuring her shoulder at the Beijing Air +Style Big Air World Cup back in December. Riding smoothly all day, what Silje Norendal’s first run lacked in blockbuster tricks it more than made up for in perfect execution and stomped landings, and her score of 75.68 would give her her first slopestyle podium since she took second at the Utah 2019 world championships last season.
In third place for the women was 2019/20 World Cup yellow bib-wearer Katie Ormerod of Great Britain, for her fourth-straight slopestyle podium of the season - and her fifth altogether when you factor in big air. The epitome of consistency this season, Katie Ormerod was able to stomp her signature double wildcat on the final hit of her second run for a score of 68.71.
Katie Ormerod now has 2600 points with just one slopestyle World Cup left to go in the season, next month in Spindleruv Mlyn, though Laurie Blouin has closed the gap to just 400 points, as the Canadian now has 2200 points on the year.