Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
David Wise, of the United States, celebrates after winning a gold medal in the men's ski halfpipe final at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Olympics: David Wise wins on halfpipe for another U.S. gold
Ski halfpipe » Salt Lake ski company part-owner wins inaugural Olympic event atop signature line.
First Published Feb 18 2014 01:16 pm • Last Updated Feb 18 2014 10:04 pm

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia • David Wise soared through sleet and snow and ended up with gold — a mighty nice present to bring home to his daughter.

Skiing with a heart-shaped rock he got from his wife and in front of a crowd waving pictures of his 2-year-old girl, Nayeli, the 23-year-old from Reno, Nev., overcame sloppy conditions to win the first Olympic ski halfpipe contest.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Wise is part-owner of Salt Lake City’s 4FRNT Skis, which held a viewing party to watch the boss win the U.S. team’s only gold medal of the day.

A high-flying show this was not. But Wise overcame the conditions to score a 92 on his first run, which held up as the weather worsened. It was almost impossible to see the top of the pipe from the base by the end of the contest.

Mike Riddle won silver for Canada, which has one of its all-time greats, the late Sarah Burke, to thank for shepherding this event into the Olympics.

Kevin Rolland took bronze for France.

The podium ended up much as expected, with the top spot going to the three-time defending Winter X Games champion.

No small thing considering the way bad weather and variable conditions at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park have shuffled the deck in many of the action sports. Shaun White couldn’t handle the tough halfpipe a week ago and finished fourth. Kelly Clark also struggled and ended up with bronze, not gold.

The skiers weren’t nearly as critical of the pipe as the snowboarders, and when the tricky conditions kicked in, they rolled with it.

"It diminishes the show a ton," said 17-year-old American Aaron Blunck. "The cool thing is, I’ve got a ‘pow’ day tomorrow."


story continues below
story continues below

Yes, they’ll ski powder, but first, Wise will head down to Sochi on Wednesday to pick up his gold medal.

He’ll do that because he threw the best tricks, opening with a 720-degree spin, grabbing one ski and getting so high he could look straight down into the halfpipe. There was a 540-degree spin that left him skiing backward when he landed — one of the coolest and most notable differences from the snowboarding version of halfpipe. There was also the requisite double-twisting jump that he landed with ease.

Wise fell on his second run and skied straight down afterward, earning a 3.4 to record both the highest and lowest scores of the night.

But he wasn’t the only one to fall. The final four skiers all fell — Wise, Rolland, Benoit Valentin and Justin Dorey, who went last and bowed backward on his landing before losing his balance. When he fell, Wise had the gold wrapped up.

"Dave is, right now, on top of the sport. He’s the best. He’s proven it multiple times," Blunck said. "He comes out in any condition and has amazing fun. He’s the dad out of the group. So, no matter what he does, we’re proud of him."



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.