TTR World Snowboard Tour

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TTR O’Neill Evolution 2012 – Big Air Finals

DAVOS, 7 January 2012 – In the Swiss winter wonderland of Davos, Canadians Spencer O’Brien and Mark McMorris won the 6Star Big Air competition at the O’Neill Evolution. Gripping until the last run, Mark was followed closely by Eric Willet (USA) and Seppe Smits (BEL) in third place. Swiss rider, Sina Candrian, came second, followed by rookie Anna Gasser (AUT) in the women’s competition.The women’s final was extremely exciting, counting in rookies like 3rd placed Anna Gasser (AUT), leaving some experienced favorites behind. It was Anna’s last run that secured her spot on the podium. With a stylish Backside 540 Mute Grab and Frontboard to 50-50 Frontside Out on the rail, she surprised everyone, including herself. Amongst a thrilled crowd of thousands, the men’s final was exciting down to the last run. Eric Willett lost his first and second run lead to Mark McMorris by only 0.30 points, with Mark performing a nearly perfect Backside Double Cork 1260 Mute Grab and Gap switch hardway to 270 out on the rail. None of the finalists were holding back in going BIG, which influenced the atmosphere amongst the spectators tremendously, giving the riders the necessary energy to perform.In the Big Air Tour ranking, Eric Willett grabs the lead from Roope Tonteri (FIN). Seppe Smits advanced from 12th to 5th position, remaining in his 5th position in the Overall Rankings. O’Neill Evolution was the last Big Air contest before the Big Air final Billabong Air&Style on February 4th, in Innsbruck, Austria, where the TTR Big Air Tour Champion will be crowned.

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Gian Simmen Retires from Competitive Snowboarding – Legends Session at the O’Neill Evolution

It ends where it all started. Right here in Davos. In 1996 a quiet, shy, pimple pocked, braces wearing DJ, Skate, Snowboarder punk won his first major title only meters from where this piece is being penned. It was a Swiss Championships. And his name was Gian Simmen. To celebrate the man, and his last official contest here at the O’Neill Evolution, Gian has organized a ‘Legends Session’ – and legendary it was. Talking about Gian makes me smile. You see, I met Gian in the back of a bus as the Ballantines Urban Air event in Vallencia, Spain, back in 1996. Rarely had I ever met such a shy and introverted person, sitting alone with himself, massive earphones wrapping his head, where all attempts to motivate him were acknowledged by a shy, braces filled grimace that merely confirmed my belief he didn’t understand a single word I’d just spoken. Later I’d the chance to see him ride – not bad, but not exceptional. Only a couple of month’s later, Gian won the first Halfpipe Olympic gold medal in Nagano in 1998… and I couldn’t help but think, “Great. The kid doesn’t talk at all… What an outstanding spokesperson for snowboarding we’ve just created.” I’m not scared to say that many people in the know – thought exactly the same thing.