Rigby’s Jessika Jenson Goes for Gold in First Ever Big Air Competition
I sat there watching the men's snowboard "Big Air" competition last night and kept saying to myself "nope, nope, nope!" But there's one Idaho woman brave enough to take on the new event! She'll go for gold Wednesday night in PyeongChang!
Jessika Jenson, a 26 year-old Rigby native, will be one of three women representing Team USA in the "Big Air" finals. Earlier this week she recorded a score of 76.25 on her first qualifying run, good enough to secure the last spot in the finals. Those finals were originally supposed to take place Friday (Thursday evening in the United States,) but were moved up a full 24 hours due to high winds in the forecast. In our time zone, the rescheduled finals will take place Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m.
In case you were wondering, Big Air is a more extreme version of the slopestyle event. On each run, competitors will have one chance to launch themselves off a large ramp and nail a trick that gets great height and distance. Judges consider the difficulty of the trick, how well it was performed, the athlete's landing and how high up into the air the launched themselves. The 2018 games are the first time Big Air snowboarding has been included in competition.
Rigby's not the favorite to win, but it's a chance for her to add to a pretty impressive campaign for her second trip to the games. She finished just off the podium in 5th in the Slopestyle, an event that she failed to make the finals for in Sochi.