David Wise will be defending his Olympic gold medal in halfpipe skiing in a few weeks, and on Thursday he proved he’s ready to go with a win in men’s superpipe at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado.
Wise’s four doubles in four different directions on his last run improved on the run that already led the competition, and earned him his fourth X Games gold medal.
“Four’s my lucky number tonight I guess,” Wise told reporters after the competition. “I fell hard in practice yesterday and my knee’s not real happy to go all the way straight, so in practice I wasn’t even doing the switch right dub, but I came out of the gate and landed a good one and just started feeling the energy of the crowd. I can’t say enough about the crowd because you guys lifted me up and I was able to put down those four dubs. That was my goal at the beginning of the season.”
In winning, Wise led a podium sweep by Team USA athletes who will be competing at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 next month. Wise’s final score of 94.00 bettered that of second-place Alex Ferreira, who moved into second with a scorching third run that scored 91.33, and Torin Yater-Wallace, who was third with 86.66 points.
Aaron Blunck, the fourth member of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team, was eighth in 41.33.
Wise made Olympic history as the first men’s halfpipe skiing champion when the competition debuted in 2014 and earned the right to defend his title earlier this month with his win at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Aspen Snowmass. It was his second win in the five Olympic qualifying events.
The X Games continue through Sunday with several top Olympians expected to compete, including two-time Olympic halfpipe snowboarding gold medalist Shaun White, defending Olympic slopestyle snowboarding gold medalist Jamie Anderson and three-time Olympic halfpipe snowboarding medalist Kelly Clark, among others.