Before retiring, at age 33, Kevin Rolland took seventh place in the final of the halfpipe ski world championships in Georgia.
“I would like to impress for my last competition, that people who think I’m a little dead are forced to face the facts. Inevitably, in an ideal world, I would like to be on the podium. It’s going to be complicated, but it’s possible, ”confided Kevin Rolland recently in the columns of The Team. Admittedly, there is no podium, but it is all the same with a fine seventh place finish at the halfpipe world championships that the skier concludes his brilliant career. His selection in the France team had surprised many observers thinking that he had played his last competition during the Beijing Olympics, where he was the flag bearer of the French delegation and had finished sixth. But Kevin Rolland made the trip to Bakuriani in Georgia to set off on the “pipe” one last time with a bib.
He even offered himself the luxury of achieving the best second run (out of three to be completed during the final) of the ten competitors, with a fine score of 80.50. He had previously also signed a good first run (75pts) before falling on the third (23.5pts). It is therefore with this score of 80.50 points that the native of Bourg-St-Maurice completes this final, quite far from the Canadian Brendan Mackay (25), who won his first world title with a successful score of 97.25. on his last run. He is ahead of 22-year-old Finn Jon Sallinen (95.75pts) and 28-year-old American double Olympic medalist Alex Ferreira (93pts).
Rolland quadruple world medalist
For his seventh Worlds, Kevin Rolland did not manage to win a fifth medal, after the gold won in 2009 in Inawashiro, the two silver won in 2011 in Deer Valley and in 2019 in Park City, and the bronze gleaned in 2017 in Sierra Nevada. And let’s not forget his Olympic bronze medal in Sochi in 2014, his three little crystal globes and his five superpipe X-Games victories. It is undoubtedly the greatest French halfpipe skier who bows out this Saturday. Miraculous after his very serious fall in May 2019, Kevin Rolland will be able to enjoy his retirement from sport. But there is no doubt that he has many projects for the future! “It will be about freestyle skiing, image and events,” he confided last week.