Ferreira Earns Bronze in Halfpipe at the World Championships
Alex Ferreira laced together the run he’s been hoping to put down all season to claim bronze at the 2023 FIS Freestyle Ski, Snowboard and Freeski World Championships!
For Ferreira, the end of the competition season has been a whirlwind. Last weekend, Ferreira competed in Dew Tour where he walked away with an impressive fourth place finish. The next day, Ferreira hopped on a plane to Georgia. He arrived in Tbilisi in the wee hours of the morning, drove four hours to Bakuriani, and went straight to the venue for the first day of halfpipe practice.
When qualifications rolled around, Ferreira was ready—as was the rest of the men’s freeski halfpipe team. Ferreira wasted no time and put down a solid first run with a score that ultimately qualified him for finals. His teammates David Wise, Dylan Ladd and Tristan Feinberg all also qualified for finals, resulting in the U.S. claiming four of the ten finalist spots.
When finals day rolled around, Ferreira had his eye on landing the run he’d been working towards all season, which included both ways 1620s. While Ferreira put down a clean run on both his first and second run, it was his third and final run that clinched the bronze medal. Ferreira threw a switch left 900 Japan grab, switch right double cork 1080 Japan grab, left double cork 1260 safety grab, and stomped both the right double cork 1620 safety grab, and the left double cork 1620 safety grab. When asked how it felt to finally nail both 16s in competition, Ferreira said, “Both 16s in one run has been a long time coming for me, so I’m just happy to actually do it and to do it in great conditions, a great pipe, and skiing alongside some of my best friends.”
But even after Ferreira nailed his third run, he wasn’t in the clear. The men’s halfpipe final was a heavy one with everyone throwing their best tricks in an effort to be named the new World Champion. Ferreira anxiously watched the four remaining skiers complete their final runs to see if his score would hold. When the last skier dropped, Ferreira was able to breathe again and soak in what he had just accomplished.
While Ferreira has a long list of halfpipe accolades, including two Olympic medals, 10 World Cup podiums, and six X Games podiums, a World Championships medal has eluded him—until now. “I’ve never done well at World Champs,” Ferreira explains. “To do well at the last contest of the season—I’m so grateful. It was not an easy one! Everyone threw some really great runs and I’m just happy to be up there on the podium.”
Alongside Ferreira on the podium was Brendan MacKay of Canada in first and Jon Sallinen of Finland in second. The rest of the U.S. athletes were unfortunately unable to put down their best runs. Dylan Ladd finished in sixth, Tristan Feinberg in eighth, and David Wise in ninth.
The 2023 FIS Freestyle Ski, Snowboard and Freeski World Championships marks the end of the competition season for the U.S. Freeski Halfpipe team. The athletes will now head back to the States and gear up for their spring training camps.