ASPEN, Colo. Tanner Hall won another duel with his buddy Simon Dumont at the Winter X Games and earned a spot in the record books with it.
Hall and Dumont have had a history of back-and-forth duels at the Winter X Games in ski superpipe, including a rousing showdown last year. Hall jumped to the lead in the first round this time around and bettered it in the second, breaking the career record for most career gold medals with his seventh.
Hall broke the record he shared with snowboarders Shaun White and Shaun Palmer, and became the first three-peat ski superpipe champion. He also tied for the all-time record for most medals, with 10, and became the first rider to win three titles in two different disciplines.
SPEED AND STYLE: With freestyle snowmobiling becoming so popular, the Winter X Games added a new event for this year: speed and style.
It's a combination of snocross racing and freestyle, with two riders taking off at the same time and crisscrossing through the two courses. They do two laps, hitting jumps and backflips on the freestyle course, then race around the snocross course, splitting points between style and speed.
Based on the first go-round, it's going to be around for a while.
"It took a little bit of adjusting; the riders and ESPN were changing the course a little bit in practice. We got it where it was pretty close, and it worked out well," said Levi LaVallee, speed and style's inaugural gold medalist. LaVallee faced Sam Rogers in the finals with heavy snow falling, snapping off a backflip on the inaugural jump on the freestyle course and was faster around the snocross course, earning 91 points. Rogers finished with 82.07 points.
CLOSE CALL: Qualifying for the women's superpipe was cut from 10 to six this year, meaning riders would have to pull off at least one big run instead of coasting into the finals. It led to some nervous moments for a couple of the top riders. Defending champion Torah Bright was out of the finals after falling on a first-round 32.44, but put together a solid second run to finish second at 91.66. Olympic gold medalist and 2004 Winter X champ Hannah Teter found herself in a similar situation, needing a big second run after a 42.00 on the first. Instead of bearing down, she used relaxation to her advantage, getting a 77.66 on her second run to finish fifth headed into Friday's final.