No Retina
XS Screen (480px)
SM+ Screen
SM Screen (768px)
SM- Screen
MD+ Screen
MD Screen (992px)
MD- Screen
LG+ Screen
LG Screen (1200px)
LG- Screen
XL+ Screen (1600px)

Blunck, Sigourney, Wise Find Podium at U.S Grand Prix

By Andrew Gauthier
December, 7 2018
Mens Podium at U.S Grand Prix
Men's freeski podium at U.S. Copper Grand Prix finals. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, Colo.) led a very successful day for the U.S. Freeski Team, winning the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe finals Friday at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Teammates David Wise (Reno, Nev.), and Brita Sigourney (Carmel, Calif.) also landed on the podium, each finishing third.

Blunk opened up a bag of tricks to take the first FIS Freeski World Cup halfpipe competition of the 2018-19 season, not only landing double corks in all four directions but landing a brand new trick he had been working on for quite a while. Referring to the right double cork 1440 on the last hit of his run, Blunck said, “It felt so good, I have been working on that trick for a couple years. Last year I wanted to do it at the Olympics, but I tore my obliques right before and realized there was no way I could do it. I was just in too much pain. I came out this year and started working with Peter Olenick in Austria and my goal was to just work this trick and leave. That’s exactly what I did and I’m stoked to see it pay off.”

Sigourney found herself in a situation where she had to battle back to take home any hardware. Fortunately, she had some experience in this position. Resembling her performance at the PyeongChang Olympic Games, Sigourney dropped in a clutch performance to finish on the podium.

“I wasn’t feeling great on my first two runs and ended back in that familiar place of being bumped into fourth right before my last run,” said Sigourney. “I just channeled everything I had and decided I would clean it up and do it how I know how. This is definitely the highest level of skiing at the Copper Grand Prix I have ever seen. Usually, everyone is just figuring out how to ski again, but that was pretty insane to watch the top two girls ski today. (Estonia’s Kelly) Sildaru especially, it’s going to be a battle all year. It’s inspiring to watch her ski and I hope I can step up to what she’s putting out right now.”

Wise continued to scrape off the early season rust and would settle with his first run score to claim third. “It’s been a bit of a struggle just to put runs down this week,” said Wise. “Today I came out firing and landed what I felt was my best run all week. I went for my switch right double cork 1080 twice, but just couldn’t quite put it together. I’m being pushed by other guys and it’s no longer a gimme if I land my run. I have to land my run and land it well. That’s where I want the sport to be, I want to see it go to the next level. I’m building momentum going into the season and I’m stoked on how today went. I need a little more competition mileage and I’m looking forward to Dew Tour next week with the modified course. It should be interesting.”

For the men, New Zealand’s Miguel Porteous finished second between Blunck and Wise while Sildaru topped the podium followed by Canada’s Cassie Sharpe in second for the women. The entire field put on a show for a great crowd at Copper Mountain.

The Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain continues with the men and women’s snowboard halfpipe final on Saturday. Be sure to tune in tot eh networks of NBC to catch all the action.

Men’s Freeski

  1. Aaron Blunck - Switch Left Double Cork 900 Japan, Switch Right Double 1080 Safety, Left Double Flare 1080 Safety, Right Double 1440 Tail.

  2. Miguel Porteous - Left Double 1260 Mute, Right Double 1260 Safety, Left 1080 Tail, Switch Left Alley-Oop, Double Flare 900 Safety, Switch Right Alley-Oop Flare 540 Safety

  3. David Wise - Switch Right 720 Japan, Left Double 1260 Tail, Right 1080 Tail, Switch Left 720 Tail, Right Double 1260 Mute.

Women’s Freeski

  1. Kelly Sildaru - Left 900 Tail, Right 900 Mute, Left 540 Mute, Left Alley-Oop 540 Tail, Right Alley-Oop Tail, Right 720 Tail, Switch Left 900 Safety.

  2. Cassie Sharpe - Right 900 Tail, Left 900 Safety, Right 720 Safety, Switch Left 360 Mute, Straight Air Truck Driver, Left 1080 Tail.

  3. Brita Sigourney - Left Alley-Oop Japan, Left 900 Tail, Left Alley-Oop 540 Safety, Left 540 Safety, Right 720 Mute.

Men’s freeski halfpipe final
Women’s freeski halfpipe final

Men’s snowboard halfpipe finals
Women’s snowboard halfpipe finals

All times EST
**Next-day broadcast

Saturday, Dec. 8

12:30 p.m. - Men and women’s halfpipe, Copper Mountain, Colo. - NBCSN-TV**

Saturday, Dec. 8

1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s halfpipe, Copper Mountain, Colo. - & NBC Sports Gold

Sunday, Dec. 9
12:30 p.m. - Men and women’s halfpipe, Copper Mountain, Colo. - NBC**

*Subject to change
Dec. 7: 11:00 a.m. - 12:40 p.m. (MST) - Freeski Finals
Dec. 8: 11:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. (MST) - Snowboard Finals