X out: Concussion sidelines Torin Yater-Wallace
The Aspen Times
The Winter X Games came to a premature end for Aspen freeskier Torin Yater-Wallace.
The U.S. Olympian and three-time X Games medalist suffered a concussion in a practice session crash earlier this week in the halfpipe. When doctors did not clear him to compete Friday night, Yater-Wallace was forced to miss the Men’s Ski Slopestyle qualifying round at Buttermilk.
“It’s disappointing, but it’s part of our sport,” Yater-Wallace said in an interview with The Aspen Times. “There’s the flat deck and the flat bottom, and neither one are good to land on. For me, I didn’t have quite enough pop, landed on the deck on my back and bounced onto my head.”
Yater-Wallace said the concussion kept him out of practice the past two days.
“The symptoms were pretty bad today, and I wasn’t cleared to ski,” the 19-year-old Aspenite said. “But mishaps like that happen.”
Still, the skier with two silvers and one X Games bronze in the halfpipe (before age 20) ventured out Friday night to watch the qualifying rounds in his event and cheer on his pals.
“It’s a show by all my fellow skiers and friends,” said Yater-Wallace, who watched as fellow Olympian Gus Kenworthy, of Telluride, paced the elimination rounds with a high score of 89.33, which was recorded on his first pass.
Lyman Currier, of Boulder, who often trains with Yater-Wallace, was second in qualifying Friday. He posted an 88.00 on his final run.
Kevin Rolland of France, the silver medalist last year, was the No. 3 qualifier for the final field of eight skiers.
Simon d’Artois, a 22-year-old Canadian, was fourth.
Aspen’s Alex Ferreira, who soared to a bronze-medal finish in the 2014 Winter X Games, qualified fifth, using a dynamic second run (84.00) to join the field for Sunday afternoon’s final medal event of the 2015 Winter X Games.
Olympic champion and two-time Winter X Games gold medalist Davis Wise, from Reno, Nevada, qualified sixth.
The final eight also will include Canadians Mike Riddle, 28, and Noah Bowman, 22.
The preliminary field Friday included legend Simon Dumont, the 10-time Winter X medalist from Maine who came out of retirement for one final X Games appearance in Aspen.
“This is a good spot to end it,” Dumont said. He did not qualify for the finals.
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