Birk Irving takes fifth at Mammoth, Svea Irving takes 13th; local Olympic hopefuls unlikely to compete in Games
Birk Irving may not be going to the Olympics, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been dominating. Irving took home fifth place at the Mammoth World Cup last week with a score of 85.6 out of a possible 100, his fifth consecutive top-10 finish against World Cup competition.
Irving is ranked fifth in the world in Men’s Ski Halfpipe by the International Skiing Federation, but without any podium finishes he didn’t qualify for a trip to Pyeongchang with team USA.
It’s not Irving’s fault. The American team is absolutely stacked, returning three Olympians from Sochi, including the reigning gold medalist David Wise.
Regardless, Irving had a great season on the world stage, and was invited to the 2018 Aspen X-Games as an alternate. He will likely participate in the Phoenix Snow Park World Cup in Korea at the end of February.
Birk’s sister Svea is also coming off a great 13th place performance at Mammoth Mountain, the highest finish in World Cup competition in her young career.
“It went really well,” she said. “After the first run I was in 10th place. The wind picked up during the second. I tried to turn my best run but got bumped down to 13th. But I was glad to land the run that I landed.”
Irving said she’s seen herself improve throughout the course of the season, and that the higher level of competition has served as a catalyst in her development
“I think there’s definitely a boost in wanting to do well and make the finals,” Irving said. “That really pushed me to try bigger tricks and to try and match the runs that the Olympians were doing…I was pretty stoked for how I ended up in my last two Grand Prix.”
Svea will be heading to Calgary for a Gold level competition in two weeks.
Seemann competed in two World Cup competitions in Lake Placid last week, placing 19th and 32nd, and failing to qualify for the finals in either event. Seemann is currently the 32nd ranked men’s aerialist in the world by FIS scoring.
Hedrick just returned from Québec where he was competing in the Tremblant World Cup. The 34th ranked mogul skier took 25th at the event.
“It wasn’t my best day,” said Hedrick. “Going into it I knew that it was the last Olympic qualifier, so I was going to have to push pretty hard to get my spot. I’m not a huge fan of east coast skiing. Coming from Winter Park it’s kind of a huge change and different snow type…but it was a good event.”
Hedrick said that he isn’t thrilled with the way his season has gone, but he’s trying to stay positive and come out strong in his next competition in Japan at the end of February. Hedrick will participate in the full World Cup this year, hitting all 11 competitions.
“Looking forward its always better to stay positive, and that’s what I’m going to do,” said Hedrick. “I wouldn’t say I’m stoked on the season, but I’m happy with how it all turned out. Skiing a full World Cup this year is a big deal, and I’m excited to head off to Japan.”
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