A Campbell River Olympian is off to a strong start at the future site of the Beijing Games.
Freestyle skier Teal Harle uncorked a switch 1800 (a backwards takeoff with five full rotations) for the first time in his career as one of two scored jumps at the Freestyle Big Air World Cup in Beijing, China on Dec. 14.
Harle’s final score was 190.00, which put him just .25 back from Norway’s Birk Ruud, who won gold. Sweden’s Jasper Tjader was third with a score of 183.00.
Harle said that performing his most difficult trick ever in a competition was “very rewarding.”
“I knew it was going to be difficult tonight as Birk and I traded the lead throughout the night,” he said.
The event was the first time athletes competed at the big air venue that will be the site of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. It will be the first time big air skiing is included in the Olympics.
Harle is no stranger to the World Cup podium. He won gold (slopestyle) and bronze medals (big air) in 2018 and a gold medal in 2017 (slopestyle).
Harle was fifth in the men’s slopestyle final at the Pyeong Chang Games in 2018.