The Spanish Javier Lliso managed to achieve the first Olympic diploma for Spain at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games. This young man, only 24 years old, has already made history in these Olympics by competing in the freestyle category in the Big Air discipline. Lliso has taken Spanish Big Air to a level that had never been reached before. With a sixth place he was close to the podium!
His passage through the final was progressively improving in the three attempts. In the first he was penalized for a mistake in the grip. This skier was not swayed by this bad start and surprised the crowd on the second attempt with a great switch. It was the spectacular last attempt that led him to be among the greats.
At the beginning everything pointed to the fact that his time at the Olympics was only going to mean the success of reaching the final. No one expected her to acquire an Olympic diploma since it is only given to the top eight finishers, and in her first performance as a finalist she only reached 51.25 points. However, in the following two attempts he scored 89 and 82.5 points, achieving this historical sixth place. Freestyle is a modality that, in addition to the happiness that adrenaline produces, helps you to improve yourself. And this is what Lliso has shown us in the Chinese capital.
HOW DID THE SKIER FEEL AT THE 2022 BEIJING OLYMPICS?
The man from Madrid has found an environment in the games that is very different from that of the World Cups in which he had competed. There were only 30 people he faced and he declared that they are all very good friends and how wonderful it is to share moments in sport with them.
After finishing his last great trick and making a video call with his family who were supporting him from Spain, Javier Lliso has confessed that he is very happy to live this experience and to have been able to handle the pressure. Now, we will have to wait to see him compete again in the slopestyle modality on February 14th.
Everything is new in these Winter Olympics because it is the first time that Big Air has been competed. For Lliso and many of the skiers it has been the most watched in the history of freeski where unprecedented tricks were seen. The Spanish Winter Sports Federation added that the young man has had "an incredible progression" since his beginnings at the Sierra Nevada World Championships in 2017.
HIS BEGINNINGS IN FREESTYLE
It will be on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada where an even younger Javi Lliso will put on his first skis and where his mother, who was a ski teacher, taught him everything about this winter sport.
Before being the best in the Big Air discipline, he tried Slopestyle when snowparks began to be built in Cerler that allowed him to practice this modality.His first championship was a competition in Cerler at the age of 13, which he remembers with happiness since there was no rivalry between athletes. "It was just like playing there with your friends, and that's where I got hooked," admitted the athlete. Eventually, he became a slopestyle pro at the age of nineteen.
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS OF JAVI LLISO?
Despite being only 24 years old, Javi already has an important career behind him. In 2017 he was first in the Spanish circuit, in fifth place in the European Cup in Livigno and 27th in the Big Air World Cup which was held in Quebec.
The following year he continued to accumulate successes as he placed first in the Meribel European Cup, second in the General Classification of the European Cup and, worldwide , improved its position with respect to Quebec reaching number 17th place in the World Cup of Font Romeu.
Javier Lliso can now add to this list an Olympic diploma with the sixth position in some winter games. The man from Madrid thanks above all his team and his coach and friend Josep Gil who supported him to obtain the great results we have seen.
SO, WHO HAS REACHED THE PODIUM IN BIG AIR?
The number one in the Big Air has been the Norwegian Birk Ruud with a total sum of 187.75 points he has taken the gold. Next, he is followed by the American Colby Stevenson with 183 who has taken the silver, and finally the bronze has been received by the Swedish veteran Henrik Harlaut with 181 points.
In the women's category, Chinese Eileen Gu has become the first Big Air champion. At just 18 years old, he hangs his first Olympic gold and has become an icon for China.
As we can see, you never know what can happen in the Winter Olympic Games and, like Lliso, you should not lose hope until the end of each one of the events. If Beijing 2022 shows us anything, it's that winter sports are making history!