Alex Ferreira competes in men's ski halfpipe at the FIS Freestyle World Cup at Bokwang Snow Park on Feb. 16, 2017 in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Alex Ferreira shook up the Olympic qualifying picture on Friday with a win in the Dew Tour men’s halfpipe skiing final in Breckenridge, Colorado.
The 23-year-old from Aspen, Colorado, sat in second place after two runs but posted a score of 94.66 in his third and final run. That marked the top score of the day, pushing Ferreira past Aaron Blunck and his 93.33 points to win the third of five Olympic qualifying events in the discipline.
“For me, mentally, I needed it more than anything,” he told reporters at the bottom of the pipe. “It’s the best feeling and one you can’t replicate through anything but competing. I’m the happiest guy in the world.”
Ferreira fell on his first run then scored a 92.66 on his second run. Blunck, a 2014 Olympian who finished second, had the score to beat after two runs but came out of his right ski on his third and final attempt. That left the door open for Ferreira, who was the second-to-last skier to go, and he had a huge run with a right side double cork 1260 and a big switch 720 to catapult him to the win. France’s Kevin Rolland finished third with a score of 92.00. Skiers took three runs with only the best score counting.
Ferreira finished 12th last week at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix in Copper Mountain, Colorado, which marked the second Olympic qualifier and first of this season.
Both defending Olympic gold medalist David Wise and fellow 2014 Olympian Torin Yater-Wallace had the opportunity to earn a spot on Team USA with a win on Friday, but Yater-Wallace finished fourth after a big third run and Wise was 10th.