Aspen’s Ferreira wins Olympic bronze in halfpipe skiing
Alex Ferreira adds to Olympic medal collection after winning silver in 2018
Aspen’s Alex Ferreira held on to win Winter Olympic bronze on Saturday — Friday night in Colorado — in the men’s halfpipe skiing final in Zhangjiakou. It is the second Olympic medal in two appearances for the 27-year-old Ferreira, who also won silver in Pyeongchang four years ago.
“Very tough conditions today,” Ferreira said on the NBC Olympic television broadcast during the podium ceremony. “I worked my absolute cheeks off. I gave it my 100%, every single thing that I had I put into those runs, so I’m just so grateful to be standing on the podium.”
New Zealand’s Nico Porteous won Olympic gold behind his back-to-back 1620 combo — he won bronze in 2018 — while Nevada’s David Wise won silver, ending his two-year reign as the Olympic champion.
Canada’s Noah Bowman was fourth, followed by Winter Park’s Birk Irving, France’s Kevin Rolland and Crested Butte’s Aaron Blunck.
Ferreira scored 86.75 on his first run behind four different double corks, a score that held on for third place in gusty conditions in the halfpipe about 100 miles from Beijing. Ferreira upped the difficulty in his second and third runs, pairing a double cork 1620 with a double cork 1440, but missed grabs didn’t sit well with the judges, scoring 83.75 and 67.75 to close out.
“I just work hard. I’m a workhorse,” Ferreira said of the effort it took to get back on the podium. “Every day, all day, I’m just there. I’m at the trampoline, I’m at the water ramps, I’m at the gym, and the people who know me closest, they know. I’m a workhorse.”
All three podium runs were landed in the first round. Porteous, only 20, wasted no time putting down his 1620 combo — something he did for the first time at X Games Aspen in 2021 — for a 93 that held on through the three-round final. Wise scored 90.75 on his technically precise first run, which held down the top spot until Porteous went two skiers later.
Ferreira admitted after the contest that the wind certainly made skiing more difficult and limited the runs the athletes could put down.
“Everybody in the field had planned out much more difficult runs,” he said, “but when we have this kind of wind and these kind of conditions, you just have to do the best you can possibly do and came out there and I did my best.”
Telluride-raised Gus Kenworthy, competing for his mother’s homeland of Great Britain, finished eighth. He crashed on his first two runs but scored 71.25 on his third run, which was likely the last of his career. The 30-year-old Kenworthy, who won slopestyle silver back at the 2014 Games, said he will retire after the Olympics.
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