Kevin Rolland

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Kevin Rolland, Olympic ski halfpipe medalist, hospitalized by world-record try crash

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Kevin Rolland, an Olympic ski halfpipe bronze medalist for France, was seriously injured in a Tuesday crash while trying to break a quarter pipe world record.

Rolland was hospitalized with several broken bones, including his hip, and is in serious and stable condition, sources confirmed. He was trying to soar nearly 40 feet to break a world record.

Last week, two-time U.S. Olympic champion David Wise set the world record for highest jump off a quarter pipe, soaring 38 feet to a banked landing. Wise later fractured a femur in three places. Simon Dumont has the record for a non-banked landing of 35 feet.

Rolland, a 29-year-old known for his risk-taking, gravity-defying tricks, took bronze behind Wise in the Olympic ski halfpipe debut in 2014. He placed 11th in PyeongChang. Rolland also owns the 2009 World title and three X Games Aspen golds.

MORE: Gus Kenworthy: I think I would be too old for 2022 Olympics

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Alex Ferreira wins first ski halfpipe event of season

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Six months after winning the final World Cup competition of the 2016/17 season, Alex Ferreira is picking up right where he left off.

Ferreira won this season’s first major freeski halfpipe contest, which was held at Cardrona on Friday as part of Winter Games New Zealand and also doubled as a World Cup event. His winning run, which included forward double cork 1260s in both directions, showcased the signature amplitude that has helped turn him into a legitimate contender.

A native of Colorado, Ferreira is one of many skiers who will be vying to make the U.S. Olympic team later this winter. (Qualifying, which got underway last winter, resumes in December.) The U.S. roster for freeski halfpipe is extremely deep, with reigning Olympic gold medalist David Wise, 2017 X Games champion Aaron Blunck, Torin Yater-Wallace, Gus Kenworthy, Taylor Seaton, Lyman Currier and Birk Irving among the other top hopefuls. Only a maximum of four skiers will make the team, either through direct qualification or a discretionary selection.

Of the U.S. skiers listed above, only Ferreira, Blunck and Irving competed in New Zealand. However, many of the top international skiers were in the field, including Canada’s Mike Riddle (the 2014 Olympic silver medalist) and France’s Kevin Rolland (the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist). Rolland ended up finishing second behind Ferreira at Winter Games NZ, and Simon d’Artois of Canada took third. Though Rolland had back-to-back double cork 1260s at the end of his run, he was only able to get in four tricks overall, while others, including Ferreira, were able to squeeze a fifth hit into their runs.

Four Americans in total reached the men’s final. Blunck finished fourth, Hunter Hess placed seventh, and Irving was eighth.

The women’s halfpipe contest was won by Canadian freeskier Cassie Sharpe. Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru landed in second, and France’s Marie Martinod rounded out the podium.

It’s a notable result for Sildaru, as the 15-year-old rising star has been dominating the slopestyle scene in recent years and was already pegged as the Olympic favorite in that event. Although she became the junior world champion in halfpipe back in March, she was relatively untested against top halfpipe skiers until now.

The top American was Annalisa Drew, who finished fourth. Carly Margulies (5th), Maddie Bowman (6th) and Brita Sigourney (10th) also cracked the top ten. Bowman is the reigning Olympic champion on the women’s side.

Men’s Freeski Halfpipe
1. Alex Ferreira (USA), 93.40
2. Kevin Rolland (FRA), 90.20
3. Simon d’Artois (CAN), 88.60
4. Aaron Blunck (USA), 87.20
5. Miguel Porteous (NZL), 86.80

Women’s Freeski Halfpipe
1. Cassie Sharpe (CAN), 91.00
2. Kelly Sildaru (EST), 90.20
3. Marie Martinod (FRA), 84.40
4. Annalisa Drew (USA), 82.80
5. Carly Margulies (USA), 81.00

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MORE: Joss Christensen must battle back from major injury to defend Olympic title

Gus Kenworthy just misses first X Games title

Gus Kenworthy
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Gus Kenworthy had the best ski halfpipe run of his life Thursday, but it wasn’t enough for his first X Games title.

Kenworthy, the Olympic ski slopestyle silver medalist who came out in October, had the second- and third-best scores of the night on the first two of his three runs at X Games in Aspen, Colo.

But the final skier, France’s Kevin Rolland, overtook Kenworthy with a 93.33-point third run (video). Full results are here.

“So much pressure, but I think I’m used to it,” Rolland, the Olympic bronze medalist and 2010 and 2011 X Games champion, said on ESPN. “I’m just shocked right now.”

Earlier, Kenworthy scored 91.33 points in the first of three runs and 92.33 in his second (video).

“Got a big weight off my shoulders, and oh my god I’m emotional,” Kenworthy said on ESPN after his second run. “That was honestly the best run I’ve ever done.”

It nearly held up against a field that included Olympic champion and three-time X Games champion David Wise, who was competing after separating his collarbone in a crash last week. Wise placed eighth, the worst X Games finish of his career.

Kenworthy, 24, came into Aspen with one previous X Games medal, a ski slopestyle bronze at Winter X Games Europe in Tignes, France in 2013.

His best previous X Games halfpipe finish was fifth in 2015. He missed making the Sochi Olympic team in ski halfpipe, after he had already clinched a ski slopestyle spot.

Kenworthy is also slated for the ski slopestyle event in Aspen on Sunday. He is the two-time reigning Dew Tour Mountain Championships ski slopestyle champion.

MORE: Shaun White to miss X Games Aspen, signs up for another event