Scotty James Takes Gold in Superpipe at Aspen, Setting Up Big Olympic Showdown

January 23rd, 2022
Scotty James, all smiles after his fourth X Games win.

Mountainwatch | News

“He’s back,” was the call across the snow sports world yesterday after Scotty James won the X Games Superpipe in Aspen, his fourth X Games win, and setting up a big showdown for the Winter Olympics Super Pipe scheduled to run in Beijing on February 11.  

Fellow Australian Valentino Guseli, at 16 the youngest competitor in the X Games, finished in 6thplace a strong follow up to his fifth place in the World Cup in Laax last week. Val has had a solid 2021/22 season and is now firmly established on the international stage and will be in the mix at the Olympics.


From left, Ayumu Hirano (silver), Scotty James (gold) and Kaishu Hirano (bronze)

Two-time Olympic silver medallist Ayuma Hirano took the XGames silver medal and his brother Kaishu Hirano was third, the Japanese siblings set to push James’s performance in his quest for Olympic gold. Throw in three-time and defending Gold Medallist Shaun White, who is heading to his fifth Olympics, 2020 X Games champ Yuto Totsuka and a wild card like Valentino Guseli, and the snowboard halfpipe is an Olympic event not to be missed.

For James, who won bronze at the 2018 winter Olympics behind Ayuma Hirano and Shaun White, yesterday’s win is one of his most satisfying X Games results, coming after a disappointing 11thplace in the Laax Word Cup last week, his only other event this season.

“I think that was one of my favourite gold medals I’ve won here at X Games,” James said afterward. “After last year with not having any crowds and this year it was such an amazing energy. Honestly, I didn’t have a very good practice, probably my worst one. If I’m honest, I was coming into those first few runs without really landing anything, so I was really happy to put through three solid runs.”


After the finals James said his winning run – switch backside 1260, to a cab 1440, frontside 900, backside 1260, frontside 1260 – is pretty close to the run he’s planning for the Olympics with “a few more elements”. What those elements are remain to be seen but after Ayuma Hirano through a triple cork during his second run in an attempt to overtake James, speculation is that Scotty is working on including a triple. We’ll wait and see.

Tess Coady competed in the slopestyle on Friday, her first ever X Games, coming in fresh off a good win in the World Cup in Laax last week. Unfortunately, Tess didn’t put down the run she was looking for and missed out medal, finishing in sixth place competing in her first X Games slopestyle. New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski-Synnot won the gold with two-time Olympic champ Jamie Anderson in third place.

The X Games were the final event before the Olympics.