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Aaron Blunck Lands On Fourth Halfpipe Skiing Podium This Season, Wins U.S. Grand Prix

By Paul D. Bowker | Feb. 01, 2020, 6:23 p.m. (ET)

Aaron Blunck competes at the U.S. Grand Prix on Feb. 2, 2019 in Mammoth, Calif.


Two-time Olympian Aaron Blunck confidently stated his case in his first halfpipe skiing run Saturday at the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, California.

But with the kind of extraordinary season Blunck is having, maybe that’s expected.

Blunck, who has reached the podium in all of his competitions this season, flipped his way into the California air with a score of 94.20 on his first run.

And then came the second run. He attacked the halfpipe even more precisely, landing a right-side double cork 1440 and pumping his arms triumphantly as he finished the run. That moment of perfection earned a 96.20 score.

The third run was even better. Blunck emerged with more perfect landings and a winning score of 97.20.

Blunck won the competition with the only scores in the 90s. It was his second consecutive victory in a U.S. Grand Prix event, adding to his win at Copper Mountain, Colorado, in December.

“I couldn’t be more stoked at how it went today,” Blunck said on the NBC telecast.

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 Blunck reached the podium for the fourth time this season in a world cup event. He also had a second-place finish in China, and began his season in September with a third-place finish in New Zealand. Last week he finished second to Alex Ferreira in the X Games Aspen superpipe.

Blunck was one of seven Americans in the 10-man finals, a field that included third-place finisher Lyman Currier and fourth-place finisher Birk Irving, the leader after the qualifying round.

Currier moved past Irving and into third place with a score of 88.20 on his final run. Irving had a top run of 88.00. Noah Bowman of Canada finished second with a score of 88.60.

Brita Sigourney, a two-time Olympian, led two Americans in the women’s finals, finishing fourth with a top run of 86.00. Cassie Sharpe of Canada won with a score of 90.00, followed by Russia’s Valeriya Demidova with a score of 89.00 and Canada’s Rachael Karker with a score of 88.00.

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.

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