One is Canadian, the other American, but both have Maxime Hénault as coach and both have taken the top two snowboard qualifiers at the Big Air World Cup. On Saturday, it will be a struggle to finish between Laurie Blouin, gold medalist at the Big Air in the last XGames and silver medalist in slopestyle at the PyeongChang Olympics, and Julia Marino, who became in 2017 the first female athlete in 17 years to win two medals at the same XGames.
“I was glad Julia did the final. We train together, so we know each other well and we talk to each other often, “said Laurie Blouin in a telephone interview with Le Soleil . “We do a lot of the same maneuvers, so it will be the one that does the best, who grab the longest,” she analyzes, swearing that she did not bet a dinner with his opponent on the results of the final. In qualifying, Laurie took second place with 92.50 points, two fewer than Marino’s 94.50.
A little pressure
The skateboarder from Stoneham also admits to feeling a bit of pressure because she is the only athlete in the Quebec City area in the grand final. “I know I’m in Quebec City and it’s rare that people here have the chance to see me in competition, but I try not to worry too much,” she adds. .
In the final, Blouin will also have a look at the Slovak Klaudia Medlova, the last qualified and who, like her, makes a “double cork” 1080 ° in training. The British Katie Ormerod, in 2014 when she was only 16 years old, is the first woman to have achieved this figure which is one of the most difficult on board with its three complete rotations and two inverted flips. “Klaudia has never landed in competition. If she gets there, it can change the “game” “, continues the one who would not hate it either have the opportunity to try this maneuver Saturday. “If I land well on my first two jumps, maybe I’ll try to land the 1080 ° double cork on my third try. I have been training since January, but I have not tried it in competition either, “she says.
She will of course discuss strategy with her coach, who usually keeps the same approach during qualifying. “I still qualify with the double cork, regardless of the level of competition. I do not really look at what other girls do, because I know that if I succeed in this maneuver, I will qualify. “