Aspen’s Alex Ferreira wins Dew Tour ski superpipe, furthers Olympic hopes
December 15, 2017
BRECKENRIDGE — On a day when five skiers tallied scores in the 90s, it was Aspen's Alex Ferreira who took the Dew Tour men's ski halfpipe title with a scintillating final run that earned him a score of 94.66 — even if that score was 0.34 points less than what fans hoped for.
Ferreira dropped in for the second-to-last run of the Dew Tour's ski superpipe final Friday morning and subsequently pieced together a right side double cork 1260 and a big switch 720 to jump ahead of Crested Butte's Aaron Blunck's 93.33 for the win.
Ferreira put together an exhibition in amplitude on that third run, as he floated through the run, achieving hangtime on his halfpipe hits that drew gasps from the assembled crowd.
Part of that assembled crowd made the 140-mile drive from Aspen to Breckenridge Ski Resort to cheer on Ferreira. And once he completed that fateful third run, Ferreira lifted his left arm and motioned to the crowd for applause, knowing what he'd just achieved.
"I've been working on that run since two years ago," Ferreira said. "I just wanted to land the run. I didn't care about the results. To be able to do that — hands down, best day of my life. It was my best halfpipe run ever."
Some in the crowd even began to chant, "Ninety-five! Ninety-five!" after Ferreira's run, a nod to the judges to award the 5-foot-8, 143-pound 23-year-old with at least a 95.00.
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They listened, kind of, as Ferreira's 94.66 was good enough for first place, holding off Sochi halfpipe gold medalist and fellow American and favorite David Wise, who had trouble with his bindings and ended the day in 10th place.
As Ferreira, Wise and their fellow Americans such as Torin Yater-Wallace of Basalt (fourth place, 91.33) jockey for Olympic qualifying position, Ferreira knows just how tough this Pyeongchang qualifying season is right now. Wise remains in ideal position after he took first place in the ski halfpipe Olympic qualifier at Copper Mountain Resort last weekend.
"Sometimes I almost think it would be harder to make the Olympic team than do well in the Olympics," Ferreira said. "It's not easy stuff."
Blunck's 93.33 was good enough for second while Kevin Rolland of France took third place with a 92.00.
The next Olympic qualifier will be the Aspen Snowmass Grand Prix from Jan. 10 to 14.
Canada's Sharpe wins ladies ski halfpipe
Though Americans comprised five of the eight slots in Friday's women's ski superpipe final, the top two spots went to Cassie Sharpe of Canada (93.66) and Marie Martinod of France (92.00), while American Maddie Bowman of South Lake Tahoe took third place (90.33).
The trio of Brita Sigourney of Carmel, California (sixth place, 73.00), Carly Margulies of Mammoth Lakes (seventh place, 40.00) and Annalisa Drew of Andover, Massachusetts (eighth place, 23.00) all struggled on Friday while Sabrina Cakmali of Germany took fifth place with a score of 82.00.
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