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Gold medalists Kim, James, Anderson, McMorris, Gerard highlight star-studded Burton US Open field

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February 22, 2019, 8:40 am
Gold Medalist Chloe Kim in action (Burton US Open photo).

A star-studded field of Olympic and X-Games gold medalists will be in Vail starting Feb. 25 for the annual Burton US Open Snowboarding Champions. Here’s the latest from Burton:

BURLINGTON, VT (February 21, 2019) – The 37th annual Burton U·S·OPEN Snowboarding Championships is thrilled to announce a stellar field of the world’s top riders slated to compete at the world’s longest-running snowboard event February 25th through March 2nd at Colorado’s Vail Mountain Resort. Confirmed top riders include 2018 Olympic Halfpipe Gold Medalist Chloe Kim (USA), 2019 X Games Gold Medalist Mark McMorris (CAN) and 2018 Olympic Slopestyle Gold Medalist Jamie Anderson (USA) returning to defend their Burton U·S·OPEN titles. Also competing will be 2018 Olympic Slopestyle Gold Medalist Red Gerard (USA), 2019 X Games Halfpipe Gold Medalist Scotty James (AUS) and 2019 X Games Slopestyle Gold Medalist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (NZL), plus many more of the world’s best snowboarders battling it out for the coveted Burton U·S·OPEN halfpipe and slopestyle titles and the $373,000 overall prize purse.

In women’s halfpipe, three-time Burton U·S·OPEN halfpipe champion Chloe Kim (USA) returns to defend her halfpipe title following her Olympic gold medal performance and wins at every competition this season.

Kim, who has made a point of competing at every Burton U·S·OPEN since her Junior Jam win in 2012 says, “I love the Open and I’m so excited to go back!” The Open is historically the last competition of the season, allowing riders both a chance to compete at their peak level, and also to participate in the celebratory setting alongside their fellow riders.

Kim raised the bar with her inaugural 2016 U·S·OPEN win at only 15-years-old; then, she won the Open in 2017 and again in 2018 right after her gold medal run at the 2018 Winter Olympics where she landed back-to-back 1080s. In addition to Kim, the women’s halfpipe field of 16 pro riders also includes Olympic Silver and Bronze Medalists Jiayu Liu (CHN) and Arielle Gold (USA), alongside 2019 X Games Medalists Queralt Castallet (ESP) and Maddie Mastro (USA), as well as Haruna Matsumoto (JPN) and Xuetong Cai (CHN). Eight-time Burton U·S·OPEN champion Kelly Clark (USA) will also be in attendance following her transition away from competitive snowboarding – fans will have a chance to ride with Clark on Friday, March 1st , meeting at the Burton pop-up shop in the sponsor village at 10:00am. 

The title is up for grabs in men’s halfpipe with a talented roster ready to battle it out including Scotty James (AUS), who is coming into the Burton U·S·OPEN on a season-long winning streak including wins at the 2019 Winter X Games and the Laax Open. James will have his work cut out as the field of 32 men includes an incredible array of progressive and creative pipe riders including X Games Silver Medalist Yuto Totsuka (JPN) and Bronze Medalist Danny Davis (USA). Also gunning for a win are Raibu Katayama (JPN), Benjamin Ferguson (USA), Toby Miller (USA) and Pat Bergener (SUI). 

This year’s U·S·OPEN women’s slopestyle will be a must-see event as these ladies have been absolutely pushing progression and are ready to show it off. Two thousand eighteen Olympic Slopestyle Gold Medalist and seven-time Burton U·S·OPEN medalist Jamie Anderson (USA) will be up against a heavy field of riders looking to take this year’s title. The field of 16 women includes standouts like Spencer O’Brien (CAN), Julia Marino (USA), Hailey Langland (USA) and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (NZL) all ready to give Anderson a run for the title.

In men’s slopestyle, Mark McMorris (CAN) returns to once again defend his U·S·OPEN title with a series of recent big finishes under his belt including a definitive win at the 2019 Winter X Games.

McMorris, who will be competing in the Burton U·S·OPEN for his ninth consecutive year, says, “I always look forward to the Burton U·S·OPEN because it’s the last contest of the season. Most of all it’s snowboarding’s premier event, run by snowboarders for snowboarders! The level of competition is insanely high, and I get to spend the week with my Burton family!”

McMorris will be up against a stacked field of 32 men including Olympic Slopestyle Gold Medalist Red Gerard (USA), 2015 U·S·OPEN Slopestyle Champion Yuki Kadono (JPN), Chris Corning (USA), Staale Sandbech (NOR), 17-year-old Judd Henkes (USA), winner of the 2016 Junior Jam, and rookie U·S·OPEN competitor Rene Rinnekangas (FIN).

The competition kicks off on Tuesday, February 26th with the Burton U·S·OPEN Junior Jam featuring the world’s top boys and girls under age 15 battling it out in the halfpipe. On Wednesday, February 27th, it’s the men’s and women’s slopestyle semi-finals at Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak, followed by men’s and women’s halfpipe semi-finals on Thursday, February 28th. Then, it all comes down to the finals, when 10 men and six women compete for an equal share of the equally-divided $343,000 prize purse in a progression-promoting, three-run format, with slopestyle finals on Friday, March 1st followed by halfpipe finals on Saturday, March 2nd.

Riders will also have a shot at the enhanced prize purse in several new categories including the men’s and women’s Toyota Rookie of the Year titles with an additional $5,000 prize each plus flights to and accommodation at the 2020 Burton U·S·OPEN. The Clif Best Line contest features an opportunity for fans to vote on the best pro rider lines filmed at Vail. Voting will take place on social media with another $10,000 up for grabs. And finally, the Burton Bonus Hit, an opportunity for slopestyle competitors who fall or otherwise wash out on their runs to throw down for a bonus hit on feature six. Red Bull TV viewers will decide which men’s and women’s rider get the $5,000 cash prize.  

Spectators are invited to come watch all the exciting competitions for FREE as well as experience free nightly shows on the Solaris Concert stage and the Shakedown Sessions presented by Jack Daniels, as well as the full slate of Burton U·S·OPEN activities. Fans are also invited to get in on the competitive action in the new Burton Slide Show, a banked slalom race on Golden Peak where pros and the public go head-to-head to become the Burton U·S·OPEN Slide Show Champions. The banked slalom course will be open Thursday through Saturday from 11:00am – 3:30pm.

For details on all things U·S·OPEN, follow the hashtag #BurtonUSOpen and head to BurtonUSOpen.com or download the official Burton U·S·OPEN app on your mobile device now through Google Play and the App Store. The app is your guide to all of the events including competitions, concerts, product demos, Kids Learn To Ride opportunities, as well as a full list of invited riders and the history of the longest-running snowboard event in the world.

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