David Wise put on his Olympic best Saturday in Calgary, Alberta.
Six days shy of a year after he won his second Olympic gold medal in PyeongChang, Wise won a halfpipe skiing world cup in Calgary with a strong first run in which he scored 90.00. No other skier could hit the 90 figure.
The victory was the first for Wise since his Olympic win. He finished seventh at the world championships last week in Park City, Utah, after having the top score in qualifying.
Wise, a 28-year-old from Reno, Nevada, was third in qualifying in Calgary but nailed his first run of the final Saturday in snowy and windy conditions. Nico Porteous of New Zealand was second with a high score of 87.75 and Noah Bowman of Canada was third with a score of 85.50.
Hunter Hess, a 2022 Olympic hopeful who reached his first world cup podium in December in China with a third-place finish, almost reached the podium again Saturday. He finished his third run with a double-cork 1260, but his score of 84.25 left him in fourth place.
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Seven U.S. skiers made Saturday night’s finals, including siblings Svea and Birk Irving, who finished sixth and ninth in the women’s and men’s finals.
Reigning Olympic bronze medalist Brita Sigourney, who also won bronze at the world championships, led three Americans in the women’s final with a fourth-place finish. It continued a streak in which she has finished no lower than fourth in 10 competitions dating back to January 2018. But this was just the third time in 10 competitions that she hadn’t podiumed.
Olympic champion Cassie Sharpe of Canada won with a score of 91.50 on her first run.
The next halfpipe competition is the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix and world cup at Mammoth Mountain, California, from March 6-9.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.