Seaton misses Olympics, finishes 11th at Grand Prix

MAMMOTH, Calif. — Competing with a fever on Wednesday, Jan. 17, local halfpipe skier Taylor Seaton said his Olympic dreams for this season weren’t meant to be.

“I was feeling dizzy enough before trying to go out and do spins in the pipe,” he said with a laugh. “Unfortunately I just wasn’t strong enough today to put something down that was worth a spot in finals.”

Seaton finished 11th, with the top 10 competitors advancing to Friday, Jan. 19’s ski halfpipe final in Mammoth, California, the last Olympic qualifier of the season.

Seaton said U.S. Team doctors gave him flu medicine and put him in his own hotel room away from the rest of the team, which still has three Olympic spots remaining to be decided. Colorado skiers Alex Ferreira, Aaron Blunck, Torin Yater Wallace and Gus Kenworthy will all compete for those spots in Friday’s finals.

‘Fun contest’

David Wise of Reno, Nevada, who has already qualified for the Olympic team, was the top qualifier on Wednesday; the contest was pushed up from its originally scheduled date of Thursday, Jan. 18, after the weather forecast in Mammoth started showing high winds for Thursday.

“I am looking forward to seeing what everybody brings to that final on Friday,” Seaton said. “It will be at night under the lights which always makes for a fun contest.”

Seaton said another under the lights contest — X Games — will now occupy most of his focus as he tries to recover and land a big run in that event, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday, Jan. 25, in Aspen.

“Having X Games on tap does soften the blow of taking 11th here,” Seaton said from Mammoth on Wednesday. “These Olympic qualifiers have been a fun ride, that’s for sure. I can’t wait to see how everything ends up.”

The final team headed to Pyeongchang, South Korea, will be named from Mammoth on Sunday, Jan. 21.