COPPER MOUNTAIN, USA, 11 JAN 2013 – It was a big weekend for FIS Freestyle across the board, but perhaps the biggest event was taking place in the park and pipe of Copper Mountain, at the FIS Visa US Freeskiing Grand Prix. With over 300 athletes competing in men's and ladies' halfpipe and slopestyle events, and with FIS points on the line critical for qualification for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the athlete investment at Copper Mountain was high and the competition deep.
On Friday, the ladies' halfpipe competition went ahead under challenging conditions. With occasional blustery winds, snow, and a slower-than-normal pipe causing some ladies difficulty through qualifying, the initial field of 41 women was whittled down to the top 12. In the finals, Maddie Bowman's (USA) left and right-side 900s were enough to best Rosalind Groenewoud's massive first-hit airs and consistency. Brita Sigourney (USA) – last year's halfpipe Crystal Globe winner – rounded out the top three.
In the men's event, Mike Riddle (CAN) managed to put together two steller runs to easily beat Aaron Blunck and David Wise (both USA), who finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. As with the women, the men had to battle some adverse weather conditions, and built up snow in the bottom of the pipe made it difficult for many competitors to maintain speed. Nonetheless, a impressive array of tricks were on display, with Mike Riddle's alley-oop 540 flatspin double-grab and Aaron Blunk's double corked 1200 mute grab just a couple of the day's highlights.
The next FIS Freestyle halfpipe World Cup event takes place at Park City, Utah, on February 2.
FOR FULL LADIES' RESULTS GO HERE
FOR FULL MEN'S RESULTS GO HERE