Wise Defends Gold, Ferreira Takes Silver
After spills on his first two runs, it appeared that David Wise's chance to defend his Olympic gold medal in halfpipe was fading away Thursday afternoon at the Phoenix Snow Park.
Appearances can be deceiving. Wise (Reno, Nev.) validated that cliche by laying down a flawless final run and scored 97.20 to jump to the top of the leaderboard and win his second-consecutive Olympic halfpipe title. Alex Ferreira (Aspen, Colo.) won the silver.
“I was hoping to have three runs to kind of work things in; sometimes you have a little bit of a bad landing or whatever - you get a little bit better run by run,” Wise said. “But I had to put it all on the line on run three, and I’m stoked I put it down.”
Ferreira set the bar early with his first run score of 92.60. Then upped the ante with a 96.00 on his second trip into the pipe. He finished with a flourish, earning 96.40 points on his third run to secure the silver medal. Nico Porteous of New Zealand won the bronze with 94.80 points on his second run.
“I worked really hard to be here and I’m just extremely happy to be part of the event,” Ferreira said. “We watched (Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall) get gold last night and I was screaming in front of the TV, I was like ‘ GO! GO!’ It was so cool to watch and that kind fired me up!”
Aaron Blunck finished seventh with a best run of 84.80, while Torin Yater-Wallace was ninth with his first-run score of 65.20. Ferreira was the only skier to post three clean runs.