Mac Forehand performs a trick during the Men’s Big Air Freestyle Skiing Qualifier.
It was certainly a big year for skier Mac Forehand, who not only made his X Games debut, but also his Olympic big air and slopestyle debut in Beijing.
On Saturday, the 20-year-old Southport, Conn., capped it all off with a second-place finish in the final FIS World Cup slopestyle event of the year in Silvaplana, Switzerland. It was Forehand’s fourth World Cup podium, but his first of the season.
Forehand earned a podium-worthy 91.75 on his first of two runs on a beautiful clear day on the mountain. The course played well for experienced jumpers, with three big launches highlighting the features. With a high score of 94 from the American judge, Forehand landed in second place behind Norway’s Birk Ruud, the Olympic big air champion who led the group of 16 finalists with a 94.5. Their positions remained unchanged after the second and final round, with Switzerland’s Andri Ragettli, the reigning world champion, finishing third with a score of 90.0.
It was at Silvaplana three years ago that Forehand wrapped up a standout season, winning the slopestyle crystal globe at the age of 17. That season included a runner-up finish for his first World Cup podium and then his first-ever win.
The win earned Ruud the crystal globe in park and pipe, while Forehand finished eighth overall and third in slopestyle. He finished second in his X Games debut this year, winning big air silver shortly before leaving for Beijing. Forehand didn’t make the final in slopestyle at his first Olympics, but did in big air and finished 11th overall.
Among the Americans who joined Forehand on the slopes on Saturday was reigning Olympic gold medalist Alex Hall, who finished ninth. This score secures him third place overall.