Max Parrot and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott win first Snowboard Big Air of the season, Anna Gasser 3rd

Canadian Parrot, who beat cancer, and New Zealand's 19-year-old phenom Zoi Sadowski-Synnott won the first World Cup in 10 months

By Ken Browne ·

Olympic silver medallist Max Parrot and Olympic bronze medallist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott topped the men's and women's podium at the first FIS Snowboard Park & Pipe World Cup of the season above the Kreischberg night sky in Austria.

Parrot, who beat cancer in 2019, started strong with a clean switch can triple 1620 jump that banked 80.20 points to put him in third place before spiking his board and smashing into the snow on his second jump.

He regrouped and nailed his third leap racking up 84.80 points for a total of 165 that gave him a season-opening win.

Sven Thorgren topped the board after his first monster jump gained him 85.80 points, but crashed out on jump 2 and could only amass 78.20 on Run 3.

Thorgren finished second with Norway's Mons Roisland third.

In the women's Big Air, Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand got her 2021 off to a winning start despite crashing out on her opening attempt.

Two final runs in the 80s landing a back 1080 and a switch 900 took Sadowski-Synnott to the top of the podium with Japan's Murase Kokomo second, and Olympic gold medallist local hero Anna Gasser third on home snow.

Max Parrot wins Kreischberg World Cup

After a jump 2 burn Parrot knew he'd have to bring it on his final run.

Leader Sven Thorgren laid down a front triple 1440 weddle and the pressure was on.

Parrot stayed cool and aced a front triple 1620 knowing he'd gone big, punching the air, in the end it was big enough to win.

Delighted to open the season with a win, he claimed the first snowboard World Cup event for ten months following cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Man I'm really happy because as you said I bailed on my second run," he said to FIS afterwards.

"I don't know why, on my second run I was going huge and I was going the same speed for the finals and, kind of, was slower in some way, even my Cabs - it wasn't the biggest one, still, really happy that I was able to put it down on my first run.

"It's always a relief to put it out on the first run and ya, second run I just hit the knuckle and hit my head pretty bad too, I'm pretty glad to have a good helmet sponsor!

"After that on the third run I was like, 'OK Max, gotta go faster now and went pretty big and was able to stomp the front 16 which is a really hard trick for me so I was really happy just to have been able to put it down and the result came with it so... Yes!"

After winning a silver medal at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games, Parrot was was diagnosed with a cancer called Hodgkin's lymphoma.

But the seven-time X Games champion came through the chemo and the rehab and is now back on top of his game.

Read: Exclusive chat with Canadian snowboard star Max Parrot: I'm grateful for cancer battle

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Zoi pulls it out of the bag

Sadowski-Synnott started as badly as is possible, crashing out on Run 1, but dusted herself down and landed a second backside 1080 weddle jump 2 attempt to post 81.60 points.

Anna Gasser did start well landing a back double 1080 melon for 86.60 in her first jump and then a cab underflip 900 weddle for her second.

But jump two only scored 74.80 with a low difficulty rating and a lack of amplitude and when she crashed on her third attempt third place was as good as it got.

Reigning two-time Big Air Crystal Globe champ Iwabuchi Reira had a hand down on her first jump and just held on to landing of her back 1080 weddle in the second, when she JNS'd her third it was game over and she finished fourth.

Murase Kokomo had a massive first jump nailing a backside double 1260 weddle for 92 points, but crashed and burned on jump 2 and only managed 69.80 points on jump 3.

It was the kiwi who kept it together best on the crucial final run, the only boarder to score in the 80s putting down a switch back 900 weddle for 80.80 points.

"I didn't really have the best practice," Zoi told FIS after her big win.

"I was just trying to get my switch back 9 that I'm pretty used to and then the back 10 I've never done in competition before, I only learned learned it in New Zealand this summer so to I was just stoked to land that on my second run and it set me up for the switch back 9."

"I wasn't expecting it but I'm super stoked. I can't believe it, everyone was sending it and the jump was so perfect, girls were sending, it was sick."

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