Ferreira, Faulhaber, Hess go 1-2-3 in Secret Garden, China
Stifel U.S. Freeski Team halfpipe team athletes showed insane talent in the Secret Garden, China halfpipe finals with Alex Ferreira taking home first, Hanna Faulhaber second and Hunter Hess third.
Two-time Olympic medalist Ferreira took home the win in the first of five stops of the 2023-24 FIS Freeski World Cup halfpipe circuit. Ferreira went huge on his hits, dominating the space. In his winning run he executed switch left 10 blunt, right double 16 safety, left 10 blunt, switch right dub 10 Japan and left double 16 safety. Hess, looking smooth himself, earned his second podium, with his first in 2018 in this very location. Luke Harrold of New Zealand was in the second spot on the podium.
“I was actually talking to my coach on the bus ride up… I don’t know what’s going on but this is the least stressed I’ve ever been going into a final,” said Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athlete Alex Ferreira. “I think it’s finally because I have my life in order and am just so happy to be skiing well. I’ve been training very hard and everything’s just unfolding in front of my eyes exactly how I envisioned it.”
Stifel U.S. Freeski Team teammates Dylan Ladd finished in seventh and Kai Morris, who earned his personal best in competition today, ended up in eighth.
On the women’s side of things, Faulhaber, the reigning world champion, landed in second place, clinching her fourth career World Cup podium. Known for going huge on her first hit, she skied to the bottom of her runs, always a smile on her face. Teammates Riley Jacobs and Kate Gray both earned personal bests in competition, taking home the fourth and sixth spots, respectively.
Eileen Gu ultimately came out on top for China finishing in first and Amy Fraser of Canada finished third.
Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athletes Nick Geiser, Cassidy Jarrell and Matt Labaugh were also in China for the competition, but did not make finals.
"I’m incredibly proud of the whole squad, especially Alex Ferreira for sticking to the plan and securing the well-deserved win, Hunter Hess for embracing a new run and earning third, and Hanna Faulhaber for sending it huge as always and claiming second for the ladies (and going for her first-ever 10 on run 3)," said Stifel U.S. Freeski Team halfpipe team head coach, Mike Riddle. "Everyone has been skiing well all week and I’m excited to watch them keep it going all year. Thanks Secret Garden for hosting an amazing event. Next stop Copper!”
Next up the freeski halfpipe team heads to the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix in Copper Mountain Dec. 13-16.