Maddie Mastro sketches a halfpipe trick that could win the Olympics – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

The red leatherette notebook that Maddie Mastro carries with her contains detailed entries of ideas and concepts for the halfpipe.

On one of those pages are the inner workings of the 1080 pre-double – a wishlist trick the 21-year-old American had only sketched out on paper. That is, until recently, when she put those thoughts into action.

If anyone is to topple reigning Olympic champion Chloe Kim in China this week, it could very well be Mastro. And it could very well be with a run that includes this version of his trick, which is two flips and a 360-degree spin with a backward landing.

Hit that, and the gold just might belong to Mastro. But in his eyes, it’s more a question of progression than of podiums. Hence the detailed notebook.

“The way I approach my snowboarding and my snowboarding competition is that I never want to base my racing or my success on just one trick,” said Mastro, who begins Olympic qualifying on Wednesday, with the final the following day. “I want my whole run, top to bottom, to speak for itself. I don’t want to put this thing on that pedestal.

Because this tip was really next in his journal called “Notes”. Some entries are basic reflections (different takes on snowboarding). Some are detailed reports (which worked well, which may need tweaking). And some are wishlist stuff — weird stuff she’s always wanted to try.

Make no mistake: this trick is for her and only her. If that closes the gap on Kim, so be it. It’s only to try something new.

But the result could be similar to what Shaun White achieved in 2010 when he debuted his “Tomahawk” – a Double McTwist 1260 – en route to gold. Or when the “I-Pod” (Yuri Podladchikov) released the “YOLO”, a brand new spin with 1440 degrees of spin that he used to beat White in 2014.

Triple corks could win the men’s Olympics this year. Mastro’s 1080 front double could win it for the women.

“Let’s ask the judges,” she said to find out if her turn could be good for a gold medal. “If I succeed, that’s what I can control, and the rest is up to the judges. I mean, you can land the best race and the judges might say, ‘Meh, we didn’t think it was the best that day.’

This tip comes from an idea she had been stenciling for a while. But at training camp three months ago in Saas-Fe, Switzerland, she woke up one day and decided it was time.

First, she made three attempts in an airbag, just to see what it felt like.

“On the last one I did, I was like, ‘That’s it. Was good. We are done with the bag,” she explained. “And then it was just a matter of when I decided to do it in the halfpipe from there.”

About four days later, she embarked on the halfpipe. And on her fourth try, she succeeded.

“When I took it on the snow, it was a very natural thing for me because all it took was like committing to the landing,” Mastro said.

She studied it well. Like the way White or any member of Team USA performs it, because jumping is a staple on the men’s stage. Or how the Australian Scotty James approached it, because it was a textbook.

“I would look at (Scotty’s 1080 pre-duplicate) and break it down into the parts I needed help with,” Mastro said. “I would say, ‘OK, how does he do the landing? Where are they looking?'”

She has yet to try it in a contest. In the Genting Snow Park Halfpipe, she might just go for it.

Or maybe not. It all depends on the elements, the feeling and the mood.

“As I got older, I learned to pull from my bag of tricks depending on the day and what’s going on,” said Mastro, who finished 12th in the halfpipe at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. works, what doesn’t, and create a race from that. I don’t try to base a race on one lap. I want to be able to get out of my bag and create a run that will work for the day and just work for how I feel.

And she can always change her mind.

“It happens a lot and it’s like a matter of risk management,” she explained. “If I’m going to slow down on a snowy day and I know I don’t have the amplitude for what I’m about to do, you can 100% make an executive decision, I guess, not to do it. .

“Ideally, you stick to the plan and you do it.”

There are other wishlist tricks in his notebook. Her sport delights in progression and she would like to be one of those who take it to a new level.

“The list goes on,” Mastro said. “Because I’m not going to limit myself to what I want to do. I’m not going to do that with my towers.

“I’ve got these things that might not happen next month, they might not happen in a year, but they’re here and there are big ones, but I’m not going to limit myself to that.”

Maddie Mastro is used to being judged flying through the air in a snowboarding halfpipe, but at home her four rescue dogs keep her on the ground as they don’t give or get points for style .

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