Birk Irving competes at the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships on Feb. 7, 2019 in Park City, Utah.
Finishing on the podium for the first time at a world cup event is a big deal.
When that first time on the podium is the top spot, it’s even bigger.
Freestyle skier Birk Irving won the halfpipe competition at the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, California, on Saturday, jumping from second into first with a huge score on his second and final run. Irving, the 2016 Youth Olympic Games gold medalist in halfpipe, sat in second place after the first run with a score of 88.60. He was about to do a whole lot better. The 19-year-old from Winter Park, Colorado, scored 95.20 on his second run, jumping over the 93.80 that put Canada’s Simon d’Artois in first after his first run. D’Artois couldn’t best Irving’s score on his second run. He remained in second place while France’s Thomas Krief finished in third with a score of 86.60.
Irving was second in the qualifying, which was held Thursday, with a score of 87.50. The final was scheduled for Friday but was postponed due to high winds on the mountain. Irving’s previous best finish at a world cup competition was fourth place in Tignes, France, in March 2018. This season, he had two ninth-place finishes in world cup competition.