The first of the 2013 X Games Aspen skiing medals were awarded tonight, after eight men and eight women dropped into Buttermilk’s 567-foot-long, 22-foot-tall, 66-foot-wide superpipe. The women dropped first, with South Lake Tahoe’s Maddie Bowman reigning supreme. The men followed suit, and taking top honors was none other than defending X Games superpipe champion, Mr. David Wise. Rounding out the podium were Aspen’s Torin Yater-Wallace and Bethel, Maine’s Simon Dumont, in second and third, respectively.
Skiers had three runs to strut their stuff, the best run counting in the end. Despite a bit of a shaky start—there was some confusion about when the first competitor was scheduled to drop in, due in part to a live television overlap with snowboard big air final—the skiers overcame the glitch and were able to put on one hell of a show. And when I say “one hell of a show,” I think it’s fair to say that’s an understatement.
After placing first in Thursday’s superpipe qualifier, Reno, Nevada’s David Wise successfully defended his X Games crown this evening, stomping two clean runs. “Your first run is always the most nerve-wracking,” said Wise. “It’s hard to do everything flawlessly, there’s so much pressure… everyone is looking at you. So to get a good, solid first run kind of took the pressure off. For my second run I tried to hold all my grabs a little longer, go a little higher and clean things up a little bit.”
David’s second (and winning) run consisted of a rightside 7 reverse mute, to switch double cork 10, into back-to-back double cork 1260s(!), and a massive alley-oop flat 5 tail to close. David maintained solid amplitude from top to bottom, and grabbed long and hard throughout each trick (just as he intended). His performance resulted in massive applause from the crowd. He was awarded a 95.66 for his efforts. All the more impressive, considering David is recently recovered from a serious knee injury. (Watch video.)
“That’s a run I’ve had in mind for six months now,” explained Wise during a post-event press conference. “It’s something that I thought, ‘If I do that [at X Games], and land it well, it’s going to be tough to beat.'” And tough to beat indeed it was. Great work tonight, David.
(L-R) Torin Yater-Wallace, David Wise, Simon Dumont
Second behind Wise tonight was hometown hero, Torin Yater-Wallace. Competing for the first time after undergoing shoulder surgery, Torin admitted that his shoulder is not totally up to strength. Evidently, a strong shoulder is not needed to perform a run consisting of a massive rightside double cork 12 mute, to a double alley-oop flatspin 9, to a down-the-pipe double flatspin, a left 1080 and a switch right 9. (Watch video.)
“I wasn’t expecting much out of this event,” said Torin. “If I did well, sick, if I didn’t, whatever… it’s my first event back [after the surgery]. But I’m pretty competitive, so I put the pressure on myself, and it worked out.” Yaterbombs for all!
And rounding out the podium tonight was 12-time X Games competitor, Simon Dumont. To complete the trifecta, Simon is also coming back from injury—a knee, and more recently, two broken wrists suffered at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge in December (one requiring a major surgery). Skiing without poles, as he was unable to do so, Simon stomped a run consisting of a Super Size double cork 12, a rightside 9 mute, a double flip, an alley-oop flat 7, a switch 7 and an alley-oop flat 540 to close. (Watch video.)
“This year is a lot different than most years for me. I’ve worked really hard coming back from surgery,” said Simon. “My mindset was to get as strong as I could. I went to Dew Tour, and things didn’t work out as I planned. I ended up breaking both my wrists. So coming in here, I didn’t think I was going to make finals, to be honest. I had a 10-month break, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.” Simon has truly been a man on a mission over the past few months, and the hard work has been rewarded tonight—Simon adds yet another X Games medal to his impressive collection.
Noteworthy runs also came from Kevin Rolland, who skied well, but suffered from slight bobbles, and Joffrey Pollet-Villard, who appeared to be shot from an insanely powerful cannon each time he popped from the lip of the pipe—JPV was a big-time crowd pleaser tonight.
With the superpipe finals now in the books, we look forward to Saturday night’s big air final, and the men’s and women’s slopestyle finals on Sunday. Stay tuned for continued coverage.
2013 X Games Aspen Superpipe Final Results
1. David Wise — 95.66
2. Torin Yater-Wallace — 93.00
3. Simon Dumont — 85.66
4. Kevin Rolland — 84.66
5. Joffrey Pollet-Villard — 82.66
6. Tucker Perkins — 78.66
7. Aaron Blunck — 74.66
8. Benoit Valentin — 63.66
– Watch video of the top three runs, 2013 X Games Aspen men’s superpipe finals
– Maddie Bowman wins 2013 X Games Aspen women’s superpipe final
– David Wise qualifies first, 2013 X Games Aspen superpipe elimination round
– Photo Gallery: See shots from first superpipe practice session at X Games Aspen
– Check out the Winter X Games 17 competition schedule by day
– See the 2013 X Games Aspen television broadcast schedule