Just a year ago the Las Vegas native Eric Kim participated in his first snowboarding competition. It was undoubtedly a late start to compete in his first competition at 31-years-old but he performed extremely well. A year later Kim is still competing in snowboard competitions. Now he is winning them. The professional snowboarder competed in the Brianhead Big Air contest that was held on January 14th, 2023 with over 50 entrants into the contest. Eric Kim won the event that was hosted by Brianhead Resort and Pepsi. This is the story of how Eric Kim did the unthinkable of winning a highly competitive snowboard competition.
With over 50 entrants into the competition, someone who has never won such a big event probably doesn’t believe that they don’t have any chance at all to win because they are a competitor. It would be hard to say that they think without a doubt that they will beat all 50+ of the others who entered though. For those who have spent any time watching professional snowboarding over the past few years, you may have heard of one of the best to do it, Chris Corning. Chris Corning was one of the favorites going into the Brianhead Big Air contest and not many people had pegged Eric Kim as the winner pre-competition. Kim didn’t care. He was in his own lane and knew that he could control his own destiny. He wasn’t worried about what others were doing, only himself.
As the first heat came up Kim was ready to go big. On his first jump in this big air event Eric Kim went for a massive 1800 indy. It was a fairly hard trick to land for Kim but he had done it many times before. Kim was unable to land the jump. This was a tough start to the competition but Kim knew he still had two more jumps to come, so he couldn’t get too flustered. He was still very much in this competition. A tough score on his first jump was awarded to Kim by the judges. A score of just 37.25 was awarded to Kim on this attempt. He had a lot of ground to make up to get back into this competition.
For Kim’s second jump he knew that he couldn’t afford not to land. Missing on one of your three attempts was okay, but missing on two jumps and there was no chance to win it or even come in the top of the standings. Kim was adamant that he was going to land this big 1800 indy. He was going for it again on his second attempt. This time he hit it even harder and bigger. As he came down for the landing he lined it up perfectly and stuck the jump. It was undoubtedly going to land him a big score and put him right back into this competition. The judges thought so as well and gave him a score of 93.25. The score was nice but he would still need another big score and jump to get in the top or win.
Going into his final jump Kim had to bring out his best trick. This was his only chance of coming back from the middle of the pack to get towards the top of the competition. Kim had landed this trick before but it was arguably even a tougher jump to land than his first 1800 indy that took him two attempts to land. It was a massive third attempt and Kim stuck it. He was looking at an even higher score for this jump. This catapulted Kim into first place in the competition with a total score of 184.25.
Kim wasn’t out of the weeds just yet though. He still had to sweat out the jumps of the remaining competitors. One of those remaining was Chris Corning. A big jump from Corning could put him at the top over Kim. There was a ton riding on this final jump from Corning but he ended up not being able to land the jump and got a final jump score of just 13.
Kim had done it. He held on for a massive win. There were over 50 entrants into the Brianhead Big Air contest and Kim had come out on the very top. It has been a long journey and it was a risk for a man who was 31-years-old to get into competition snowboarding. Sticking with it through the thick and thin got Kim this win. It was one of the highlights so far of Kim’s snowboarding career.
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