Begg-Smith goes Bigg 

The first official International Ski Federation (FIS) Big Air event belonged to Whistler’s Dale Begg-Smith, an experienced mogul competitor and a strong national team prospect.

A field of 19 male competitors threw down rodeos, switch rodeos, 900 spins, backflips with mute grabs, and a wide range of other new school moves for a chance to win their share of a $6,000 prize purse Sunday, Dec. 3. Begg-Smith stuck the same jump all day, a D-Spin 720 Iron Cross, going a little bigger on each attempt.

"About a week ago, I was thinking about taking it easy just because of training camps, and right now moguls are the most important thing to me," said the 15 year old. "But today I felt really confident, landed the trick in training every time, and everything looked good for me."

In the future, Begg-Smith said he would considering entering other Big Air events if it wasn’t going to affect his moguls training.

"I just came in, made some money, had some fun. Moguls are first, but if there are some more of these events around, especially in my home town, I’ll go into them for sure.

"Big Air is the one event that you never know if you can win or not. A lot of guys can pull some pretty big tricks these days. Even if they don’t do well in training, they can pull some big stuff out of the bag. I’m just glad I came into today landing my trick."

Shayne Gibson of Kimberly, B.C., finished second in the men’s event, followed by Whistler’s Chris Turpin.

In the women’s big air, Swiss aerialist Michelle Rohrbach finished first with a backflip and Iron Cross. "This is only the second Big Air event that I’ve ever entered, so it’s great to finish on top," said Rohrbach. "I love to jump so I decided to have some fun."

Trish McKinney of Richmond finished second, followed by Vancouver’s Adrienne Staley.

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