Aaron Blunck competes during the men's freeski halfpipe finals at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain on Dec. 10, 2021 in Copper Mountain, Colo.
Aaron Blunck was so very close to winning X Games gold in men’s halfpipe skiing on Sunday night.
The two-time Olympian, who’ll make it No. 3 in Beijing, led the field until New Zealand’s Nico Porteous turned in the performance of the competition on the very last run of the night to win gold. Blunck took silver and David Wise, who’ll also compete in his third Olympics next month, took bronze.
Both Blunck and Wise displayed amplitude and style throughout the final event of this year’s installment of the X Games in Aspen, Colorado, but both had giveaway final runs. That opened the door for Porteous, the defending world champion who retains his X Games title after coming up big to close things out.
Blunck, 25, has now finished as the runner-up at the X Games three years in a row. He won the event in 2017.
Wise, 31, is the two-time reigning Olympic gold medalist. He’s also a four-time X Games champion in halfpipe, with his last win coming in 2018.
Earlier Sunday Alex Hall, who’ll be heading to his second Olympics in a few weeks, added a bronze medal in men’s slopestyle skiing to the gold he won in big air on Saturday night. He also won the bronze medal in Sunday’s knuckle huck competition.
In slopestyle, Hall was in ninth place going into the fourth and final run but saved the best for last. After a clean rail section he soared through with massive airs on the bottom half of the course, finishing with an 1800 on the last jump to move into third place.
The results build on the momentum Hall already had going into the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Earlier this month he also won the slopestyle event at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain in California. The 23-year-old from Park City, Utah, will compete in both slopestyle and big air — which will make its Olympic debut in Beijing — at the Winter Games.