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Historic Crystal Globe for Ferriera, Irving Third in Calgary

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
February, 18 2024
Alex Ferreira celebrates with his Crystal Globe in Calgary. (FIS)

It was a historic Saturday night in Calgary as the 2023-24 freeski halfpipe World Cup season came to a close at the Winsport Canada Olympic Park. Alex Ferreira concluded his momentous World Cup campaign with his fifth win of the season out of the five World Cups, making history as the first male freeskier to put together a perfect season and took home the Crystal Globe. Teammate Svea Irving grabbed her first World Cup podium with a third-place finish.

Irving found herself in fifth place after run one and looked poised to up her position in the rankings before taking a fall on her final hit on an otherwise flawless run two. Visibly determined to end her season on a high note, the pressure was on as she dropped in for her final run of the season. Irving was seemingly unphased as she linked together an incredibly clean run three, earning her a spot in the nineties club and knocking Canada's own Amy Fraser out of the top three to grab her first career World Cup podium.

“Tonight was unbelievable. I’m so hyped,” said Irving. “I had kinda a rough go at the last comp and fell every single run, so I just put it all out there and am so stoked I was able to get on the podium for the first time.”

Irving’s podium is particularly bittersweet, having returned to competition this season after an unfortunate accident in the backcountry last April left her with a dislocated shoulder, torn bicep tendon, fractured rotator cuff and torn joint capsule. It was an emotional night for the entire team, watching Irving take her first career podium with brother and teammate Birk Irving cheering from the crowd.

Joining Irving on the women’s side were Stifel U.S. Freeski Team teammates Riley Jacobs and Kate Gray, who each put down a solid performance under the lights to finish their World Cup campaigns in fifth place and sixth place respectively. Sierra at Tahoe’s Piper Arnold made her first World Cup finals appearance, finishing the night in eighth place.

Ferreira completed the most dominant season in men’s halfpipe history, going five for five in World Cup victories on the season, a feat that has never been achieved in men’s halfpipe history. Factoring in his win at X Games, Ferreira’s winning streak extends to six competitions throughout the 2023-24 halfpipe season. When asked about continuing his streak at Dew Tour, Ferriera joked, “I mean that’s the goal, I’m gonna do my absolute best and not change anything, I’m just gonna do me.” 

Besides his second Calgary Snow Rodeo halfpipe win of the weekend, Ferreira was also awarded the coveted Crystal Globe, recognizing him as the leader in World Cup points for the FIS halfpipe season. Joining him on the podium for the overall World Cup halfpipe standings was teammate Hunter Hess, who landed on the podium with Ferriera for the majority of the season despite missing out on qualifying for Saturday’s finals in Calgary. 

Stifel U.S. Freeski Team domination continued with the rest of the men’s field of finalists, with Americans taking up 60% of the field of finalists. Dropping in wearing his signature pair of jeans, Olympian Nick Goepper entertained the crowd with an impressive second run that earned him a score in the coveted 90s and landed him in fifth place. Teammate Aaron Blunck continued to show consistency throughout the competition, stringing together all three of his runs and scoring an 89.75 to take home sixth. Dylan Ladd, Tristan Feinberg and Matt Labaugh rounded out the field of Americans, speaking to the depth of the Stifel U.S. Freeski Team in the halfpipe discipline.

With the FIS World Cup freeski halfpipe season done and dusted, the squad will return home for some well-deserved rest and recovery before a few members head to Copper Mountain for the Dew Tour in early March.