The game was played out rather well as the first stop of the Grand Prix was concluded with 87 guys sending it in the halfpipe to get to the finals, 16 of them making it through, and crowning our first winners in the men’s and women’s halfpipe.
The first stop at Copper Mountain was an insane battle that included some drama, bad weather conditions and a few little twists and turns in the story line. There were some big names missing on the finals list for both the men and women. Like I said in the earlier post Hana Teter and Danny Kass both sat this Copper stop out with minor injuries. But what is even more unreal are the heavy hitter riders that were there competing that didn’t make it. That includes people like Torah Bright, Scotty Lago, Luke Mitrani, Kevin Pearce and Danny Davis.
I guess when the Olympics are on the line it’s game on for anyone that’s got the heart. An article from Grind TV told us that what was the spectacle to see for men’s riding was not the finals, when they had terrible conditions, but the qualifying round. Every rider was giving it all and more than they had to move on. Everyone was out to prove themselves and get their name on the list of probable Olympic contenders. Young bloods are also making this competition a little stiffer. Take for example 15 year old Madeline Schaffrick that came out of no where on the women’s side, or 19 year old Zack Black on the men’s that ended up taking 3rd. You just never know who you need to watch out for in this sport.
If you missed this round, have no fear there are still four more stops to catch all the action. Which is what many of these riders are relying on right now too. Copper was a pretty intense kick off for the Grand Prix, but I have a feeling it’s only going to get bigger from here.
Here’s how the finals turned out:
1. Shaun White, Carlsbad, CA, 47.00
2. Louie Vito, Sandy, UT, 45.60
3. Zack Black, Breckenridge, CO, 44.10
4. Fredrik Austbo, Norway, 41.20
5. JJ Thomas, Golden, CO, 41.10
6. Greg Bretz, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 40.00
7. Steve Fisher, Breckenridge, CO, 39.40
8. Tore-V Holvik, Norway, 34.80
9. Ryo Aono, Japan, 34.00
10. Jack Mitrani, Mammoth, CA, 28.80
1. Kelly Clark, Mt. Snow, VT, 44.50
2. Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, CO, 42.60
3. Soko Yamaoka, Japan, 40.20
4. Quera Castellet, Spain, 30.50
5. Ellery Hollingsworth, Stratton, VT, 35.80
6. Madeline Schaffrick, Steamboat Springs, Co, 35.50
7. Holly Crawford, Australia, 24.00
8. Clair Bidez, Minturn, CO, 13.60