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That’s what separated Lyman Currier, who finished his competitive night with a score of 86.00, from a bronze medal at the 2015 Winter X-Games in halfpipe.
“I’m super happy about my first two runs,” said Currier, who attended Boulder High School for ninth and 10th grade before moving to Park City, Utah and taking high school courses online. “I think that was some of the best skiing I’ve ever done. I landed a little weird on one of my hits on my third run, and just knew that it wasn’t going to be a better score than my second so I just kind of stopped doing hard tricks.”
For many competitors, freestyle skiing is a sport that is sometimes out of the control of the athletes. Judges base their grades on a set of criteria, but that doesn’t seem to bother Currier, who has finished in the top 10 in every X-Games halfpipe event he has competed in.
“I wish my score was a little bit higher, but with a judged sport you can’t really complain too hard. It is what it is,” the 21-year-old said. “Whatever the judges see is what the judges see and sometimes it’s not what you see, but that’s the nature of a judge sport.”
Currier’s first run scored an 81.33, the fifth-best score of the group after one run. Then he stepped it up on his second run, scoring an 86.00 with an improved performance, and as the third round began, he had his sights set on the medal picture.
It wasn’t meant to be, but Currier, who made the 2014 United States Olympic Team, and then tore the ACL in his knee during the competition at Sochi, didn’t let the disappointment ruin his X-Games experience.
“It’s the biggest competition in skiing and snowboarding,” Currier said. “I mean, winning a medal at X-Games would mean more to me than winning an Olympic medal. It’s the coolest feeling in the world; all these people have come out to watch you compete and do your thing and you have a private half pipe to yourself and it’s awesome.”
While there is still some disappointment, Currier has a long career ahead of him. He is one of the youngest members of the U.S. halfpipe team, alongside 2o-year-old Colorado native Torin Yater-Wallace. Currier competes all over the world, but says the feeling of competing in his home state alongside friends makes it a little easier.
“It’s the best feeling ever,” explained Currier. “All your friends at the top, they’re cheering you on and it’s great. I feel the love at almost every hometown competition. X-Games is a great time, and the party is the best part.”
Frenchman Kevin Rolland ended up winning the event with a score of 93.33. United States skier Gus Kentworthy finished just behind with a 92.33, while another Frenchman, Benoit Valentin, rounded out the podium with a 90.66.