Aspen’s Alex Ferreira wins third Dew Tour title behind 1620, furthers Olympic cause |

Aspen’s Alex Ferreira wins third Dew Tour title behind 1620, furthers Olympic cause

Ferreira is reigning Olympic silver medalist in men’s halfpipe skiing

Aspen’s Alex Ferreira interacts with fans after his first-place finish in the men’s halfpipe skiing finals on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, during Dew Tour at Copper Mountain.
Hugh Carey/AP

Alex Ferreira’s nomination to the U.S. Olympic team looks locked in. The same can be said for his skiing, as the halfpipe star looks to be in gold-medal form less than seven weeks from the start of the Beijing Games.

Barely a week after winning the Copper Mountain Grand Prix, Aspen’s Ferreira returned to the same hill on Saturday to win the men’s halfpipe skiing contest at Dew Tour, the third of four U.S. Olympic team qualifiers. It’s his third Dew Tour title after also winning the contest in 2017 and 2018; his 2017 victory was his first major win and paved the way to him winning Olympic silver in 2018 in Pyeongchang.

“I train really hard outside of the competition season and for when the time comes, I am a little less nervous than I would be if I hadn’t trained,” Ferreira said of his back-to-back title winning weeks. “I just work really hard. There is no secret.”

After slipping up on his first of three finals runs on Saturday, Ferreira took over. The 94.75 he scored in his second run would have been enough to win, but he upped it slightly in his third run for a final score of 95.75. His run included a 1620 followed by a 1440, a combination few have put down in halfpipe skiing. New Zealand’s Nico Porteous landed back-to-back 16s as part of his winning run at X Games Aspen last winter that remains the new standard.

Finishing second on Saturday was Crested Butte’s Aaron Blunck with 94, followed in third by Canada’s Brendan MacKay with 92.25. Winter Park’s Birk Irving just missed the podium with 85.25 for fourth, while Nevada’s David Wise, the two-time reigning Olympic gold medalist, was fifth with 85.

Rounding out the finalists were Canada’s Noah Bowman (sixth, 84), Canada’s Simon D’Artois (seventh, 78.25), Oregon’s Hunter Hess (eighth, 73.25), Boulder’s Lyman Currier (ninth, 69), and finally Porteous (10th, 61.75).

“This year might just be my year here in Copper,” Ferreira said. “So I’m very grateful and thankful to land a couple of good runs out here.”

Aspen’s Alex Ferreira executes a trick in the halfpipe finals on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, during Dew Tour at Copper Mountain.
Hugh Carey/AP

With only next month’s Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix remaining among the official U.S. Olympic team qualifiers, it’s safe to say Ferreira, with his two wins in two weeks, and Blunck, who won the Aspen Grand Prix in March, will be Beijing-bound come February. The rest of the U.S. contingent remains in doubt, although Irving and Wise seem to have the upper hand at the moment. That said, a single good run by a number of challengers at Mammoth could get them onto the team.

“But at the end of the day skiing to me is just skiing and the Olympics aren’t what I ski for. I ski for the fun of it,” said Blunck, a 2014 and 2018 Olympian. “It feels nice, but at the same time, I’m going to keep it going and just keep having fun.”

Basalt’s Hanna Faulhaber, only 17, finished third in the women’s halfpipe skiing finals at Dew Tour on Friday for her career’s first major podium, a result that likely means she’ll compete in her first Olympics in February.

Gerard, Corning shine in slopestyle

After weather delayed the men’s snowboard slopestyle qualifiers from earlier in the week, the athletes finally took to the course Saturday for a two-run final that included 25 starters. Taking the Dew Tour title was Silverthorne’s Red Gerard with 93.25, holding off former Summit County buddy Chris Corning (second, 91.50) and Canadian superstar Mark McMorris (third, 90).

Gerard, the reigning Olympic gold medalist in slopestyle, can consider his 2022 Olympic ticket punched. Corning, on the other hand, still has work to do, but the brief Aspen resident who now lives near Vail saw his Olympic stock take a major rise with his Dew Tour podium.

“I knew my other run wasn’t going to be good enough and had to do my best to put down a run I haven’t done the entire time,” Corning said. “So, I finally decided I am just going to huck it and I was able to put it down.”

The women’s snowboard slopestyle win on Saturday went to New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (97.75), followed by Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi (second, 90.75) and Japan’s Kokomo Murase (third, 87.75).

Wisconsin’s Courtney Rummel was the top American finisher, taking fourth with 83.50. Tahoe superstar Jamie Anderson was seventh with 50.25.

The ski slopestyle finals were Friday, with Utah’s Colby Stevenson taking the men’s title (96.25), with Park City teammate Alex Hall a close second (95.25) and Indiana’s Nick Goepper third (89.50) for the American podium sweep.

France’s Tess Ledeux won the women’s ski slopestyle title with 91.50. In second was China’s Eileen Gu (89), who also won the women’s ski halfpipe contest on Friday, and in third was Norway’s Johanne Killi (86).

Dew Tour wraps up Sunday with the men’s and women’s halfpipe snowboarding finals.

The Summit Daily’s Cody Jones and Pat Graham of The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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