Anchorage snowboarder Ryan Stassel struggled for words Wednesday after becoming the first American to win a world championship in slopestyle.
"I'm speechless," he told reporters in Kreischberg, Austria.
No matter. The statement that mattered was the one Stassel made during the men's finals at the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships.
With a winning run punctuated by three 1260s -- tricks that require 3.5 mid-air revolutions -- Stassel, 22, dominated to earn his first gold medal at a major competition. No other rider landed three 1260s.
"I have been working on that run for a long time, and it feels really good to finally pull it all together here at the World Championships," he said.
His score of 97.5 was one of the best in the history of the world championships and easily put him at the top of the standings, well ahead of silver medalist and defending world champion Roope Tonteri of Finland, who was second with 93.75.
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