January 21, 2023 | at the FISU Winter University Games
Livia Tanno may only be 20 years old, but the Swiss student-athlete from Zurich once again showed the confidence of an experienced snowboarder on Friday at Gore Mountain.
Two days after winning the slopestyle competition, Tanno put in another great performance to claim Big Air Gold at the 2023 FISU World University Games in Lake Placid.
Tanno achieved a combined score of 172.50 in her two best runs – out of three – ahead of Hikari Yoshizawa of Japan (152.50) and Noémie Equy of France (136.00).
The Swiss’s dominance was highlighted when she realized she had placed first before the final run. At the top of the slope, she was smiling up to her ears. “It was great to have a win lap, that doesn’t happen often,” she said.
The two-time FISU Games champion had fallen into the arms of her teammate and friend Michelle Rageth, Big Air freeski silver medalist a few hours earlier.
Tanno was also vigorously cheered and hugged by the other three contestants in the finals, which will remain a great sporting picture for these Lake Placid 2023s.
“It’s normal in our sport for us to enjoy each other, but getting to know these girls better over the last few days at the hotel while playing games and in the evenings was really the happiest moment for me,” said Tanno.
There were also hundreds of competitors who cheered and engaged in spectacular acrobatics of athletes, which the winner enjoyed.
“It was very nice to host so many people, especially the children who were very happy and clapped a lot for us. They were really excited.”
“It certainly gave me a lot of energy, I gave it my all,” later added men’s Big Air winner Yusei Kaku.
To achieve such a result, the Japanese had to overcome snowfall on Mount Gore.
“The conditions were very difficult. In my opinion I was too slow, but I’m still happy to win the gold medal.”
The 18-year-old from the University of Sapporo won his first FISU Games medal with a score of 172.00 ahead of Germany’s Moritz Wolfgang Breu (170.25) and Japan’s Atushiro Suzuki (165.00).
“I’ll celebrate with my family around my medal as soon as I get home,” Kaku promised, already smiling and thinking about it.
The 2023 Lake Placid snowboard competition continues on Saturday with a parallel men’s and women’s giant slalom.
Written by Louis Gilles, a young FISU reporter
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