The Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix women's halfpipe podium at Copper Mountain 1. Maddie Bowman 2. Rosalind Groenewoud 3. Brita Sigourney. (Sarah Brunson/USSA)
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Jan. 11) – Despite snow and wind Maddie Bowman (South Lake Tahoe, CA) displayed great athleticism with her left and right 900’s that landed her in first at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix. Colorado native and 16 year-old U.S. Rookie team member Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, CO) beat tough competition and weather to take second in the men’s competition at his third FIS World Cup appearance. Teammate David Wise (Reno, NV) played it safe in the treacherous conditions and placed third place. Brita Sigourney (Carmel, CA) was able to secure third with a more conservative second run at the FIS World Cup. This is the first domestic stop for athletes to gain Olympic qualifying points and AFP Platinum level event points. The weekend will be televised on both NBC and the NBC Sports Network.
Maddie Bowman (South Lake Tahoe, CA) won the women’s halfpipe competition at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix with teammate Brita Sigourney (Carmel, CA) coming in third at Copper Mountain.
U.S. Freeskiing Rookie team member 16 year-old Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, CO) took an impressive second with teammate David Wise (Reno, NV) in third.
Out of three World Cup starts since 2011 it was Blunck’s first podium.
Maddie Bowman winning run: right 900 into a left 540 mute-grab, straight air with safety grab, left 900 to right 720 and switch 540.
Brita Sigourney run: 900 to ally-oop to 540 to right 540 to 720.
Aaron Blunck run: right double 1200 mute-grab to left cork 900 tail-grab to ally-oop flat 540 Japan-grab to right 1080 tail grab to switch 720 mute grab.
David Wise run: right side 900 to double cork 1260 followed by switch 720.
U.S. Freeskiing Rookie team athlete Alex Ferreira (Aspen, CO) and teammate Simon Dumont (Bethel, ME) came in sixth and seventh respectively.
Canada’s Mike Riddle won the men’s competition and fellow Canadian Rosalind Groenewoud came in second.
Athletes will gain valuable FIS Olympic qualifying points in addition to AFP Platinum level points.
The event will be broadcast on NBC and NBC Sports Network.
QUOTES Aaron Blunck I woke up this morning and was just pumped to be in the finals and I was not expecting this! It turned out so well. It was a tough competition, but everyone was in the same boat and I was able to pull it off. I am so happy right now. Guys were landing low in the pipe and it was a definitely a game over situation if that happened. You really had to have a perfect stance to pull off runs today.
David Wise I was having a perfect run for my first run I was excited and I caught a snow snake and went down. It’s part of the game. I put extra pressure on myself for my second run and had to scale back a bit- you scale back and that’s what puts you in third place. I still had a great day and I am very happy to be here to get my Olympic qualifying points started.
Maddie Bowman I am really happy! My right 900 is a new trick, I learned it last year and I used it for the first time at the Dew Tour and so far it is working out for me. It is an exciting time for our sport right now with the Olympics and the competition is stiff- I mean look at Brita [Sigourney]. But I love competing with her and Roz [Groenwoud] and it's fun. I am glad to be here and get this season started right.
Brita Sigourney Training was rough, it was super snowy and I really didn’t put down any good runs, actually I really didn’t put down a full run, my first run I did a butt-check on my ally-oop 540. The second run the sun decided to come out; it was still a little windy and hard to carry your speed. I simplified a little bit and took out the ally-oop 5 and did an ally-oop and it worked out for me.
VISA U.S. FREESKIING GRAND PRIX SCHEDULE Fri. Jan. 11 – The North Face Junior Jam, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. MT Sat. Jan. 12 – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix slopestyle skiing finals, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. MT
BROADCAST SCHEDULE (times ET) Sat. Jan. 11 11:20 a.m. -1:00 p.m. – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix live stream, halfpipe, USSA Network Sat. Jan. 12 4:00-5:00 p.m. – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix, halfpipe, NBC Sat. Jan. 12 1:00-2:00 p.m. – Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix, halfpipe, NBC Sports Network Sat. Jan. 19 2:00-3:00 p.m. –Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix, slopestyle, NBC Sports Network