Podmilsak Lands First-Ever Triple 2160 to Win Gold at Worlds
Troy Podmilsak made history today when he landed the world’s first triple 2160 and won gold in big air at his first ever World Championships—all at just eighteen years old.
The big air events at World Championships got off to a bit of a bumpy start when men’s qualifications were delayed three hours due to heavy winds. However, Podmilsak didn’t let the delay or the wind hinder his performance. He stayed focused and was able to put down two clean runs to qualify into finals. Unfortunately, Podmilsak’s teammates Cody LaPlante and Hunter Henderson weren’t able to nail the tricks they were hoping for and did not advance to finals.
The weather in Bakuriani continued to pose a challenge, and big air finals were bumped up by a day in an effort to evade inclement weather coming into the region. Fortunately, the plan was successful and finals were able to go off with no wind and just a bit of light snow. Podmilsak was the first to drop in finals and wasted no time getting the show going. He stomped a switch double bio 19 safety grab and called it, "the best he’s ever done." But Podmilsak was just getting started.
In big air, the athletes' best two jumps out of three count, so TPod knew he needed another exceptional run, and boy, did he deliver. On his second run, Podmilsak stomped the world’s first triple 2160 mute grab to put him into first place. Not only was this the first time the triple 2160 had ever been, but it was also the first time Podmilsak had ever attempted that trick on snow. Podmilsak explained, "That was the first time I've ever done [the triple 2160]. I did it on the air bag a few times and didn't really land it. That was the first time I've ever really landed it." Needless to say, it was a day of firsts. However, despite Podmilsak's epic second run, there was still one more run to go, and in big air, it’s not over until it’s over.
Podmilsak dropped last on run three, so he anxiously watched his fellow competitors do everything in their power to usurp first place from him, but their efforts were to no avail. When it was finally TPod’s turn to drop, he had already secured the gold medal and was able to take a victory lap amidst the cheers of his fellow competitors and the fans.
When asked how he was feeling after taking first place at his very first World Champs, Podmilsak said, “I can’t even really believe it. It almost feels like a dream to me. I’m proud of myself and I’m proud of my team. We worked really hard for this.”
Big air was the final event in Georgia and Podmilsak’s win was the perfect way to wrap up the 2023 FIS Freestyle Ski, Snowboard and Freeski World Championships. Next up, the U.S. Freeski Team's slopestyle team will travel to Tignes, France for their second to last World Cup of the season.
Men's big air