Shaun White's opening method in his first run was bigger than the 25-foot marker.

Shaun White’s opening method in his first run was bigger than the 25-foot marker.

The 34th annual Burton U.S. Open of Snowboarding is officially a wrap. The longest-running snowboard competition has transcended the competitive world and has become a full-on “love fest” as many have described this year’s festival in Vail, Colorado.

Here’s six things that went down in Vail this week that you need to be in the know about.

1. We’ve officially entered the Chloe Kim era

Sure, Chloe Kim has won three X Games gold medals in a row, but snatching her first U.S. Open title after Kelly Clark wrestled it away from her last year is Kim’s big statement. Stomping those back-to-back 1080s in the pipe, it’s funny to think the future of women’s halfipe snowboarding was only 8 years old when Kelly Clark landed the first 1080.

2. Michelangelo (Eric Beauchemin) won the U.S. Open

Technically, Michelangelo (aka Eric Beauchemin) took second in the Men’s Slopestyle event. But he reminded everyone in the snow world that snowboarding is supposed to be fun. Snow runs and ‘za are what it’s all about.

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3. Kelly Clark can still podium with a bum leg

Kelly Clark was looking for her ninth U.S. Open halfpipe victory, but the onslaught of teenager Chloe Kim and a bum hamstring for Clark saw her fall a bit short of that goal. But she gritted things out for another podium, finishing third.

4. This year’s poaching in the halfpipe was weak

Seriously, folks, step it up if you’re gonna poach the pipe in Vail.

5. Another year, another Jamie Anderson slopestyle win

At only 25, Jamie Anderson‘s got years ahead of her to keep compiling slopestyle victories (this victory being her seventh U.S. Open title). It’s so effortless for her that it’s truly a surprise when she doesn’t win. There’s no one else even close to her right now and she’s making this domination look easy.

6. Shaun White’s triumphant return to the U.S. Open

Shaun White is not retired (haters gonna hate). He stomped his authority by qualifying first in the halfpipe, blew the slopestyle finals a little bit by falling on the first rail in both his runs (but honestly, who cares about that?) and completely dominated the pipe finals from his opening backside method.

He is surely not retired and we certainly cannot count him out as a serious gold-medal contender for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

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