Justin Reiter closed out the FIS Snowboard World Championships in Stoneham, Quebec Sunday with a silver medal in parallel slalom.
The Truckee, California native couldn’t best Slovenia’s Rok Marguc for gold. Reiter, who rides out of Colorado’s Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, also competed in the January 25 parallel giant slalom and finished eleventh.
Held every two years, the Worlds attract top-level competitors including national snowboard team members from across the globe.
The event was held for the first time at the Quebec resort with competition held over 10 days.
The highlight for the U.S. was sixteen-year-old Steamboat Spring, Colorado rider Arielle Gold taking the women’s halfpipe title Jan. 20 to become the second youngest athlete to do so.
Gold’s run came during a morning of steady snow.
“I truly couldn’t be happier,” said the rookie. “This is such a wonderful feeling.”
Coming into the championship, Gold was “bummed” because of her fourth place finish at the U.S. Grand Prix. But she was able to step up despite less than ideal conditions for a backside air, frontside 540 lien, backside 540 mute-grab, frontside indy, cab 720 indy and frontside air.
“The beginning of the day was frustrating and there was a full foot of snow in the bottom of the bottom of the pipe and it was so slow and sticky,” she said. “It was insane. The snow was heavy and the resort did their best to keep up with the snow and keep the pipe smooth and slip it. We were all kind of struggling to stay smooth and keep our amplitude up.”Kaitlyn Farrington of Sun Valley, Idaho just missed the podium at fourth. Spencer Shaw of Stratton, Vermont was best U.S. male at twelfth.
Nick Baumgartner led U.S. riders in snowboardcross Saturday, but didn’t make the podium.
The Iron River, Michigan snowboarder got snarled up in the semis on Saturday, but came back to win the small final and finish seventh in the event won by Australia’s Alex Pullin.
Salt Lake City’s Faye Gulini led American women with 14th. Canada’s Maelle Ricker was the winner.
Ty Walker was the top U.S. finisher in women’s slopestyle on Jan. 18, coming in fifth. Walker, 15, from Stowe, Vermont, impressed the judges with a backside 720 on her third jump. She was competing against riders mostly five to ten years older than her in the event won by Canadian Spencer O’Brien.
“It was probably one of the coldest days I have ever been out riding in,” she said. “The course was good and I was glad that I kept my riding together. I was glad that I could step up my riding up because the competition was tough. All the girls were throwing down big tricks. It was cool to see how well the other girls were riding and I am really stoked with how I did compared to everyone else for such a high level of competition.”
On the men’s side, Alaskan Ryan Stassel was the top American with a seventh. Coming in a disappointing eleventh was Chas Guldemond who struggled to land his cab 1260 during both runs.
Snowboardcross riders were invited based on FIS ranking and finishes at the Telluride and Montafon, Austria World Cups while alpine competitors got there based on Parallel World Cup rankings. The halfpipe crowd were invited based on finishes at the 2012 Dew Tour and World Snowboard Tour rankings. Slopestyle riders received invitations because of the World Snowboard Tour ranking list and finishes at the 2013 Sprint U.S. Grand Prix.
First image courtesy Jonathan Selkowitz/U.S. Snowboarding, second image courtesy Oliver Kraus/FIS