U.S. Freeskiing athlete Aaron Blunck in the halfpipe at Copper, where AFP overall points leader Gus Kenworthy and U.S. Freeskiing rookie Annalisa Drew took home the dual victory for U.S. Freeskiing at The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series Sunday. (The North Face)
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Dec. 9) – AFP overall points leader Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) and U.S. Freeskiing rookie Annalisa Drew (Andover, MA) laid down unbeatable halfpipe runs and took home the dual victory for U.S. Freeskiing at The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series Sunday. With the first Olympic-sized halfpipe in North America, Copper Mountain was the first stop for the open series and functioned as the last qualifier for the U.S. Grand Prix Series, an Olympic qualifier for the USA. Next, U.S. Freeskiing heads down the road to Breckenridge for the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships Dec. 14-15, which will air live on NBC and NBCSN.
AFP overall points leader Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) and U.S. Freeskiing rookie Annalisa Drew (Andover, MA) took the victories for the men and women at The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series at Copper Mountain Sunday.
U.S. Freeskiing athlete and three-time X Games medalist Devin Logan (West Dover, VT) took second place despite the frigid temperatures and flat light conditions in the halfpipe.
With the only Olympic-sized halfpipe currently in North America, Copper Mountain was the first stop of the series. It also functioned as the last qualifier for the U.S. Grand Prix Series, an Olympic qualifier for freeskiing in the USA.
In their last chance to secure a spot in the Olympic qualification, U.S. skiers Evan Schwartz and Isabel Atkin qualified for the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships and U.S. Grand Prix after solid runs in the final, finishing seventh and 13th respectively. The first U.S. Grand Prix is Dec. 21-22 at Copper.
Over 80 athletes from 10 countries competed in the open-format event qualifier on Saturday. Only 16 men and women were selected for the final.
Kenworthy’s final winning run strung together a leftside 900 tail grab, rightside 1080 tail grab, switch leftside 1080 tail grab, an alley-oop 540 critical grab and then a leftside 1080 tail grab landing switch.
Drew’s run consisted of a leftside 900, rightside 540, leftside 540, rightside 540, leftside 720 and then a switch rightside 540.
Next up is the Dew Tour ION Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, CO, the first U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Olympic team selection event.
NBC and NBCSN will air live coverage of the event. Click here for full TV schedule.
QUOTES Gus Kenworthy My confidence is super high right now. I’ve had a tough time in the past where I’ve sort of started out slow and then built momentum throughout the season and usually I finish off with a bunch of good results. So this year I just knew that I couldn’t do it that way. I knew I’d have to start out strong. All of our Olympic qualifying events are the first events of the year so I knew I had some pressure on me, but this is a big confidence booster and a big relief to be able to do well right off the bat.
Annalisa Drew I felt really good today and am stoked to come out with a win at the first event of the season. It gives me confidence to do well in future events and hopefully I will land an Olympic spot.