Safe Sport


February 11, 2024

The curtains closed on the 2023/24 FIS Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup season with a night to remember at the Snow Rodeo, as a bumper Calgary crowd came out to witness Valentino Guseli (AUS) and Mitsuki Ono (JPN) achieve remarkable victories in a thrilling showdown under lights at Winsport.

Guseli claimed his first World Cup halfpipe win of his career, captivating the audience with a series of high-amplitude tricks. His second run of the night included a huge Indy, a switch frontside 1080, a frontside 1260 tail grab, and then a backside 900 Weddle, before a flawless frontside 1440 tail grab culminating in an unbeatable score of 91.00.

This win was a significant milestone for the 18-year-old Australian, “This means a lot to me, I’m really, really hyped. It’s actually my mom’s birthday today, and I woke up this morning and thought to myself, hopefully I can win a competition and make her proud. To have done that makes me feel super happy. I’m going home on Monday for a couple of weeks, and to get to catch up with the family and hang out after this is going to be even sweeter. I’m super stoked” he said following the victory.

Ruka Hirano of Japan took second on the night with a score of 88.25, his fourth podium of the season whilst countryman Shuichiro Shigeno rounded out the podium.

Following the results of the evening, Hirano claimed a second back-to-back Crystal Globe, ahead of Guseli and Scotty James (AUS) who had to withdraw from the Calgary competition due to a minor knee injury.

Mitsuki Ono, aimed for her third consecutive win of the season and second consecutive crystal globe in Calgary. The 19-year-old Japanese fulfilled the prophecy, laying down her variety of tricks and perfect landings, earning her a score of 90.00. This victory marked Ono’s sixth career win and distinguished her as the first Japanese woman to win multiple halfpipe crystal globes in FIS Snowboard history.

Following a challenging final run where Ono took a heavy fall, she expressed her gratitude for the support throughout the season and her excitement over securing her second crystal globe. “I’m just so happy,” Ono said following the awards, “I want to thank everyone who supported me throughout this season. It feels unreal that this is my second crystal globe".

Maddie Mastro (USA) took second place, along with the silver medal in the season's overall rankings. Mastro's standout performance in her final run, featuring her signature double crippler, secured her position on the podium with a score of 88.25.

Sena Tomita (JPN) and newcomer Bea Kim (USA) also made notable contributions. Tomita secured third place at the event, while Kim finished the season in bronze medal position in overall rankings, showcasing her consistency throughout the season.

Canadian athletes Brooke D'Hondt, Jenna Walker, Felicity Geremia, Lily-Ann Ulmer, Ryan Vo, Lucas Briggs and Liam Gill competed valiantly but were unable to put down their best runs and did not feature in finals.

There was plenty of action for everyone at Winsport this week. On Friday the light up the Pipe Grom event saw 50+ young athletes and special guests riding the full sized 22 foot half pipe and a gear drive saw huge donations for local indigenous groups. On Saturday, 16 kids from Mînî Thnî, Stoney Nakoda Nation learned to Snowboard and attended the Rodeo as VIP’s. Thankyou to Winsport for supporting these program donating passes and rentals.

As the 2023/2024 FIS Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup season draws to a close, this showpiece in front of a record crowd made the Snow Rodeo a fitting crescendo, celebrating the achievements of the athletes and setting the stage for future competitions.


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