Blunck Top Qualifier After Copper Win

Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, CO) moved to the top of the U.S. Olympic qualification standings with his halfpipe win Friday at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix Series presented by The North Face. Blunck sealed the victory in the FIS World Cup event with French favorite Kevin Rolland in second and teammate Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) taking third, vaulting himself into the third qualification spot.

December 21, 2013

COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO. (Dec. 21) – Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, CO) moved to the top of the U.S. Olympic qualification standings with his halfpipe win Friday at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix Series presented by The North Face. Blunck sealed the victory in the FIS World Cup event with French favorite Kevin Rolland in second and teammate Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) taking third, vaulting himself into the third qualification spot. Previous points leader David Wise (Reno, NV) dropped into second place in the standings after he failed to qualify for Friday’s final. Athletes take on slopestyle Saturday at 11:00 a.m. with live streaming on www.usfreeskiing.com.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, CO) moved to the top of the U.S. Olympic qualification standings with his halfpipe win Friday at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix Series presented by The North Face.
  • Blunck sealed the victory in the FIS World Cup event with French favorite Kevin Rolland in second and teammate Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) taking third, vaulting himself into the third qualification spot and putting him into contention in the halfpipe qualification. Kenworthy is the only U.S. man competing in both halfpipe and slopestyle skiing.
  • Previous points leader David Wise (Reno, NV) dropped into second place in the standings after he failed to qualify for Friday’s final. That leaves a big opportunity for other athletes to score points and gain momentum in the next qualification events. Last week Wise won the first qualifier at Dew Tour in Breckenridge.
  • After Friday's victory and his second place at Dew Tour Breckenridge, Blunck has met the minimum Olympic qualification criteria of two top-three finishes, but with three more qualification events left, his Olympic spot is not yet secured.
  • Blunck was also given the FIS World Cup yellow bib as he leads the World Cup halfpipe points so far this season after Friday and the New Zealand World Cup event.
  • Cold temperatures and falling snow made for challenging conditions, slowing down the athletes in the halfpipe and making it difficult to transition between tricks.
  • Blunck’s winning run: Rightside double cork 1260, leftside 1080, switch rightside 720, alley-oop flatspin 540, rightside 1080.
  • Kenworthy’s second run: Leftside 900 tail, rightside 1080 tail, switch 1080 tail, double alley-oop flatspin 900 and a leftside 1080.
  • With the competition reaching boiling point, the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix tour heads to Breckenridge Jan 8-12. The event was relocated from Northstar California Resort and Coloradans Blunck and Kenworthy hope to scoring more points on home snow.
  • Athletes take on slopestyle Saturday at 11:00 a.m. MST with live streaming on www.usfreeskiing.com.

QUOTES
Aaron Blunck

Words are not even flowing out of my mouth right now. I don’t even know what to say. Kevin Rolland threw the craziest run I’ve ever seen in halfpipe to date and Gus Kenworthy came out with some serious style. I can’t believe I was able to hang out on top of those competitors.

Having my parents here is a huge support for sure. They try to make it to every event they can and for them to be here for the time I won is huge. I can’t believe that they were here. I’m so happy.

RESULTS
Men’s Final Results

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Haley Caruso, hcaruso@ussa.org

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