Faulhaber, Ferreira Second at Calgary Snow Rodeo
U.S. Freeski Team athletes Hanna Faulhaber and Alex Ferreira both took second place in a frigid nighttime final at the FIS Snow Rodeo halfpipe World Cup. This is the first of two nighttime U.S. Olympic qualification halfpipe events at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.
In the men’s competition, Alex Ferreira hit the gas on his second run to earn his top score of the night of 94.80 with a left dub 1260 tindy, into a right dub flat 900 safety, comboing a left cork 720 tail into a switch right 720 Japan, and finishing with a full-throttle left 1080 tail.
Ferreira, the 2018 Olympic Winter Games silver medalist, is coming off back-to-back wins at the Dew Tour and the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix in the Woodward halfpipe at Copper Mountain.
The Canadian Team earned the two other podium spots with Calgary’s own Brendan Mackay taking the win with a score of 97 and Simon d’Artois in third with a 94.4.
Rounding out the U.S. Men’s Freeski Team, Lyman Currier took fifth place, Dylan Ladd in seventh, two-time reigning Olympic gold medalist David Wise in eighth and Cassidy Jarrell took tenth. This stacked field are all competing to earn one of the four men's halfpipe spots on the U.S. Olympic Team.
In the women’s competition, Hanna Faulhaber, the 17-year-old from Aspen, Colorado displayed the amplitude that is fast becoming her trademark to earn second place and her first World Cup podium. Faulhaber was the second-place qualifier coming into finals and kept that momentum going despite the cold temps, putting down three solid runs. Her top-scoring run included a boosted straight air rail grab on the first hit into, left and right side flair safety grabs, an incredibly clean cork 720 safety, finishing with a switch right 360 Japan, and a left 540 mute grab.
Faulhaber said, “It’s a crazy one for sure. I am insanely stoked to have put down a run and be able to walk away. I took a pretty decent slam yesterday during training and I’m just happy to be okay after that and be able to compete today.” As for her second consecutive podium, she has this to say: “It’s great to be able to put down consistently and I’m just happy to keep it going. I don’t really know what to say, I’m just excited for how it’s going and it’s unbelievable – I never thought that I would be here.”
This result at the Calgary Snow Rodeo comes on the heels of her third-place finish at the Dew Tour, and a fifth-place finish at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain the week prior.
Eileen Gu, competing for China, continued her winning streak, earning first place with a score of 96.8, and Canada’s Rachael Karker earned third place with a score of 90.2.
Head Freeski Halfpipe Coach Mike Riddle is happy with today's results, "I’m always happy with the team in general, some weren’t able to get the runs they wanted in finals. The conditions here are tough." Riddle noted the challenge of maintaining a halfpipe in sub-zero conditions, "Right now the pipe is undervert, so the athletes are having trouble going large and getting back in the pipe. The deck is a real threat. No one is doing their hardest run.”
Despite the challenges, the team is rising to the occasion says Riddle, "Hanna is skiing awesome, that amplitude is definitely something that’s hard to learn, she’s got it on lock right now and that’s going to bode well for her. And Alex is on a tear this year, he was on a tear at training camps all last season and it’s paying off. He’s skiing amazing.”
Leading U.S. Freeski athletes Brita Sigourney and Aaron Blunck both opted out of this event, looking ahead to the upcoming Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain.
Stay tuned for the second FIS World Cup halfpipe event of the Calgary Snow Rodeo, scheduled for New Year’s Day, Saturday, January 1st. Expect to see another duel between U.S. and Canada for the podium, and yes, more sub-zero temps.
HOW TO WATCH
*All Times EST
Saturday, Jan 1, 2022
5:00 p.m. FIS Freeski Halfpipe World Cup- LIVE, Calgary, CAN, Streaming Peacock