Nicholi went into his second and final run of the day in second place behind Brett Rheeder knowing that he had to go big and produce something really special if he was going to take the win.
The following five minutes saw Rogatkin stun the crowds and score a 96.00 from the judges, before Rheeder did the same with another stunning run to increase his score from 94 to 95.6, just short of Nicholi’s winner.
There’s a good chance it was the cash roll-tailwhip that made the difference on the final kicker. The most ridiculous bit? He had never even attempted the trick onto dirt before.
We caught up with the American 21-year-old after his winning run to get him to talk us through exactly what just happened. Here’s the lowdown from the man himself, including a video of the full run below:
In Nicholi’s Words