Shaun White led three American snowboarders to the 2018 Olympics on Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix in Aspen-Snowmass with all three clinching Olympic berths. Among them was 19-year-old Jake Pates of Eagle, Colorado, who grew up riding Vail and won Youth Olympic Games gold two years ago.
Jake Pates scored the biggest result of his career in December at the second of four Olympic qualifiers, the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, winning the event. He score second coming into the final, which meant he was second to last to drop. Pates wowed not only the crowd but the judges with a trick that nobody expected to see to close out his run. Pates' final run consisted of this year's trending trick - the double Michalchuck - grabbing indy to open which lead into a frontside double cork 1080 grabbing indy, cab double cork 1080 grabbing mute, frontside 900 grabbing tail and the unforeseen backside double cork 1260 grabbing tail to close. The final trick was also referred to it as double McTwist with a tail grab.
"I had a bit of pressure on me. I didn't really have a great practice up there today," said Pates. "I didn't really think about anything, but just trying to land my run. But, I guess, yeah the pressure might have played a role. I don't know... it was fun."
Jake Pates will also make his first ever X Games Aspen appearance this year on Jan. 28.