Livia Tanno might only be 20 years old, but the Swiss student-athlete from Zürich showed once again the confidence of an experienced snowboarder on Friday at Gore Mountain.
Two days after her win in the slopestyle event, Tanno offered another splendid performance to pick up Big Air gold at the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games.
Tanno managed a combine score of 172.50 in her best two runs – out of three – to top Hikari Yoshizawa of Japan (152.50) and Noémie Equy of France (136.00).
The Swiss’ dominance was highlighted when she realised she had first place locked up even before landing her final run. On top of the slope, she smiled all the way to her ears. “It was great having a victory lap, it doesn’t happen that often,” she said .
The double FISU Games champion fell into the arms of her teammate and friend Michelle Rageth, silver medallist in Big Air freeski a few hours earlier.
Tanno was also vigorously cheered and hugged by the other three competitors in the final, in what will remain a great sportsmanship image of these Lake Placid 2023.
“In our sport it is normal to be happy for each other, but getting to know these girls better in the last few days at the hotel playing games and during the evenings has really been the nicest moment for me,” Tanno said.
Hundreds of competitors also showed up to cheer and engage with the spectacular acrobatics of the athletes, which the victor savoured.
“It was very nice having so many people here, especially the children who were really happy and clapped a lot for us. They were really stoked.”
“That gave me a lot of energy for sure, I tried my best for them,” added men’s Big Air winner Yusei Kaku later on.
In order to achieve such a performance, the Japanese had to overcome the snowfall at Gore Mountain.
“The conditions were very difficult. I was too slow in my opinion, but I’m still very happy I secured the gold medal,”
The 18-year-old from Sapporo University claimed his first FISU Games medal with a score of 172.00, in front of Germany’s Moritz Wolfgang Breu (170.25) and fellow Japanese Atushiro Suzuki (165.00).
“I’m going to celebrate with my family around my medal as soon as I come back home,” Kaku promised, already smiling and just thinking about it.
The Lake Placid 2023 snowboard competition continues on Saturday with the men’s and women’s parallel giant slalom.
Written by Louis Gilles, FISU Young Reporter
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