Quebec snowboarder Sebastien Toutant made history by winning the first-ever Olympic gold medal in men’s freestyle snowboarding big air at Pyeongchang 2018.
“I’ve been competing for many years now, if there was any medal I was missing — it was the Olympics,” said Toutant.
Seb Toots, as he is known through the snowboard world, had his first crack at an Olympic medal during the Sochi 2014 games.
But a crash during his final run of the inaugural men’s slopestyle event, which is known as his strength (big air is a very close second) prevented him from reaching the podium.
Four years later at Pyeongchang, Toutant had a chance at redemption. But a couple of stumbles along the booters at the bottom of the slopestyle run prevented him from a podium finish.
The big air event made its debut at Pyeongchang 2018, but it wasn’t until a week and a half after the disappointing slopestyle finish that Toutant had to qualify for a spot in the final through a tough field of competition.
He qualified by posting a ridiculous score of 91.00, which oddly landed him the qualifying heat’s fifth of six seeds, ultimately setting him up to be one of the first competitors to jump in the final.
A few days later, the men’s big air final was the most watched event by Canadians during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games, according to CBC Sports.
It was during the second run of the final that Toutant stomped a backside 1620 and scored a field-best of 89.50 (174.25).
“I wanted to land my first two tricks straight off the bat, so I don’t have to worry about my last run. That’s what I did.”
He knew he was going to podium once the field reached the third run of the final, but Seb Toots wasn’t quite sure which coloured medal he would win.
“It was stressful, I wasn’t wishing any bad luck to anyone — I just wanted to enjoy it.”
As teammate Parrot took his last jump, the remaining boarder of the field within reach of Toutant’s position, Parrot crashed leaving the golden podium unchallenged.
Toutant stood at the bottom of the course and waited for his teammate to get up before he started celebrating his big win with fellow medalists which included USA’s Kyle Mack (silver) and Great Britain’s Billy Morgan (bronze).
“It’s nice to have my first medal and it’s a gold one.”
When he’s not too busy winning medals, Toutant can be spotted filming projects with producer and friend Mathieu Cowan (Sunset Films), from riding sketchy Ville de Mercier handrails to slashing the snowy streets of Montreal.