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It was the best result at a world cup event in any discipline for the 19-year-old skier.
“I came into this event thinking it wasn’t my stronger discipline, and being a really high-level event, I was aiming for a top 30 to score some points," Barclay said.
"I didn’t even fathom that this could happen. I am absolutely stoked.”
The Big Air format allows each athlete to attempt three runs, and their two best trick scores count towards their final score.
Barclay meant business dropping in for run 1, attempting a technical switch left double cork 1800, but he could not quite stick the landing on the 20m jump.
Barclay got redemption in the second run, reattempting and stomping his switch left double cork 1800 with a mute grab, impressing the judges and being awarded a score of 88.75, bumping him into eighth position.
“Dropping into the second run, I just thought about trying to remain calm coming into the landing.
"With that trick, I can get scared coming into the landing because it is an unnatural rotation, so I just told myself to be calm."
With one final opportunity to get some points on the board, Barclay dropped into his third and final run, throwing a huge left double cork 1440 tail grab, and was rewarded with a score of 80.25, resulting in a combined score of 169.00 and seventh position overall.
The Steamboat Big Air World Cup is a Winter Olympics qualifying event for Beijing 2022, and it boasted a deep international field.
Matej Svancer (Austria) claimed victory, ahead of Alex Hall (US) and Antoine Adelisse (France).
Three Otago athletes competed at the weekend.
Queenstown snowboarders Tiarn Collins and Cool Wakushima finished 16th and 18th respectively, and Wanaka freeskier Luca Harrington finished 39th equal.