David Wise won the first Olympic selection event in halfpipe skiing after two of his top American rivals crashed in training and pulled out of the final Saturday night.
Wise, 23, had the highest score in each of the two runs at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colo. He tallied 92.60 in his second run to beat another American, Aaron Blunck, who had 89.80 in his second. Lyman Currier rounded out a U.S. podium sweep.
Wise, the reigning Winter X Games and world champion, celebrated his latest victory with Nayeli, his 2-year-old daughter, on the halfpipe.
Training crashes kept two accomplished U.S. skiers from competing in the final.
Reigning X Games and world silver medalist Torin Yater-Wallace suffered a chest injury just before the final and was taken to a hospital, according to Freeskier magazine. Yater-Wallace suffered a collapsed lung two weeks ago, though he believed it was not from a crash, according to USA Today.
Seven-time Winter X Games medalist Simon Dumont hit his head in a practice crash and suffered a concussion, according to The Associated Press.
Breckenridge marked the first of five Olympic selection events for snowboarding and freeskiing. The next four events are on the U.S. Grand Prix schedule — Copper Mountain, Colo., next weekend, followed by Northstar, Calif., Park City, Utah, and Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
The five events will determine Olympians in snowboard halfpipe and the new Olympic events of snowboard slopestyle and ski halfpipe and ski slopestyle. The Olympic rosters are expected to be announced Jan. 22.
The overall Olympic qualification standings will be determined by the two best results for an athlete over the selection events. No more than four athletes can make the U.S. Olympic Team per event. It’s possible fewer than four will be named for some events.
Breckenridge Men’s Ski Halfpipe
1. David Wise (USA) 92.60
2. Aaron Blunck (USA) 89.80
2. Lyman Currier (USA) 87.00
Star U.S. women’s halfpipe skier tears meniscus