The athletes competing in the FIS Freestyle World Championship Superpipe final delivered a clear message to the International Olympic Comittee (IOC) today in Park City:
We’re here. We’re serious. We’re glad we have your attention. And we’re even willing to throw down in post apocalyptic storm conditions to show you why we deserve a spot in the Olympics.
“I think we all overcame (the weather),” said Simon Dumont. “The next thing is the Olympics. Come on. Lets get it going. (It’s a) no brainer.”
The contest is the single most important event for the IOC who is considering the skiing halfpipe event for 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
Canadian Mike Riddle took the top spot with his first run score of 45.60. Within fractions of a point in second place was France’s X Game gold medalist Kevin Rolland (45.20). Collecting his second bronze medal in about a week's time was USA’s Dumont (43.20).
Mike Riddle – Photo Erik Seo
Riddle’s winning run started off with a huge double corked 1260 into a flat 360. He continued to keep his amplitude throughout four different 900 variations: right 900, left 900, switch left 900 and switch right 900.
“Mike is the winner today,” said Rolland. “I think it’s a good judgement.”
Rolland fell on his first run but got it together on the second run throwing a double flip 900, flat 360, switch 900, switch right 720 and finished off his run with a massive double corked 1260.
Dumont said he would have pulled out of the event if it was any other contest because of how bad the conditions were but knew he had to compete to push for skiing halfpipe to become an Olympic event.
His run consisted of a cork 900, right 900, double flip 900, alley-oop 720 into a switch 720 for a run that scored .20 better than USA teammate David Wise.
Wise fell on his first run but threw it down when he needed to with a run that was just shy of a podium finish.
His run consisted of a double cork 12, alley-oop flatspin 360, switch 720, right 900 and finished with a left 900.
“I had to go for it the second run,” Wise said. “I thought I had enough to make it on the podium but sometimes you just don’t quite have it.”
Rolland, Riddle, Dumont – Photo Erik Seo
Finishing out the top-five was the loveable Kiwi, Byron Wells who went huge from top to bottom and showed consistency by landing both of his runs.
Wells threw a switch 1080, flatspin 540, left corked 900, right 900 into a corked 540 to finish his run. “I’m pushing hard for us to be in the Olympics,” Wells said. “If we can get in there it will be amazing. I’ve dreamt about it so many times and maybe now it can come true.”
There has been some indication of inclusion of halfpipe skiing in the 2014 Sochi Games but the IOC won’t make their final decision until April. Some of the things the IOC will be investigating is whether or not there is a big media and spectator interest and how accurate the current judging process is, said Sarah Lewis, an FIS representative.