Using Twitter to live blog about a contest is an interesting experience. You miss a lot while you're screaming at your iPhone for autocorrecting some Scandinavian name that took you a minute to spell in the first place. (I typed Piiroinen, not pirouette! Augh!) I'm not sure I like this new revolution in contest reporting. But if you're curious about how the Air & Style in Beijing went down while you were sleeping, you can check the Tweet feed right here.
There are a few issues with trying to do contest reporting from China. The biggest is that it's pretty difficult to get video out of here. A lot has happened that would be better to show you than make you read about. We'll be breaking down the back 12, and hearing from Shaun White, and showing you what snowboarding looks like from the eyes of the Chinese kids who grew up riding here. A lot of video is about to come your way, as well as some updates on slopestyle and the Olympics. While you're waiting, here's how the contest stacked out:
French Canadian Sebastian Toutant rocked the whole contest, taking first. Seppe Smits, a newcomer from the flat country of Belgium, got into this contest as an alternate. He got a slot from winning the Air & Style Rookie session in 2009 and even though he placed fourth in slope at the Arctic Challenge last year, he kind of came out of nowhere. We wandered the streets of Beijing together earlier this week, and he is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, so I was screaming for him on the sidelines as he stomped his way into second place tonight. (They're actually all ridiculously nice guys -- even the Finnish kids who don't speak English well smile in place of it.) Third was a tough decision between Germany's Elias Elhardt and Norway's Mikkel Bang, but Elhart's stylish double cork 10 won out over Bang's flat back 12 with a hand drag in the end.
It seemed like the announcer kept saying "back 12" a lot, so I asked Toutant if everyone was doing the same trick tonight. This is what he had to say:
"Mikkel did a switch back 12 flat. Seppe did a backside 12, and I did a backside double cork 12. It's different if you do it double cork or you do it flat. It gets more crazy if you do it double cork because you dip your shoulder twice. It [might look like] the same trick, but you need to see who has more style, who held their grab the whole way. Who makes it look more easy to do it. That's how the judges judged tonight, and I think they did a really good job."
So there you go. Double cork 12s are the now the contest standard. My, my, my...