Press Release, December 7, 2013, Copper, CO:
The qualifying day of the first stop of The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series presented by Nissan (PPOS) took place in cold and cloudy conditions at Copper Mountain on the only superpipe currently open in North America. Athletes from 10 different countries are present to battle for the PPOS podium and the last chance to qualify into the U.S. Grand Prix series. The Grand Prix series is the Olympic qualification for freeskiing athletes in the U.S., and will ultimately play a key role in determining the athletes who will be members of the first U.S. Freeskiing team at the February 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The stop marked the first event of this historic year for freeskiing on North American snow. Athletes approached the pipe with intensity and put their best tricks forward right from the start. Only sixteen females and sixteen males qualified for the finals out of 80 athletes. The finals will be webcast live on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013 at 12:30PM.
In the women’s competition, Marie Martinod (FRA) demonstrated smooth style with a lot of amplitude and landed high on the walls scoring an 88.00. Her run consisted of a leftside 540 tail grab, rightside 540 mute grab, leftside flare safety grab, tail grab and a leftside 720 safety grab.
The men competed in two separate heats. Defending 2012 PPOS Copper Mountain champion Mike Riddle (CAN) won the first heat with a score of 89.00 and also had the highest score of the day. Riddle’s run consisted of a double corked 1260 mute grab, a rightside 900 opposite tail grab, leftside 900 opposite tail grab, leftside alley-oop flat 360 with a bow and arrow grab, switch leftside 900 mute grab and finally he capped off his run with a switch alley-oop 540.
In the second heat, Gus Kenworthy (USA), who is currently ranked first in the AFP overall world rankings, won the second heat with an 87.5 giving him the second highest score of the day. Kenworthy’s run started with a leftside 900 tail grab, a rightside 1080 tail grab, a switch leftside 720 Japan grab, a leftside alley-oop flat 540, a leftside 1080 tail grab. Both Riddle and Kenworthy exuded confidence and skill demonstrating why they are serious contenders for the race to the Sochi, Russia Winter Olympic Games.
More great #PPOS action is sure to occur tomorrow live from Copper Mountain on here on freeskier.com and thenorthfaceppos.com starting at 12:30PM MST. View complete results and start lists here: http://thenorthfaceppos.com/copper_mountain/.