December 10, 2010
Copper Mountain, Colorado – Canadians were the cream of the crop Friday when a new world of innovation was introduced to the Visa U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix as ski halfpipe made its competition debut in the series. Justin Dorey and Rosalind Groenwoud, who both hail from Canada, took the win. Jen Hudak (Salt Lake City) and Simon Dumont (Bethel, ME) led the USA in second and third in an event being considered by the International Olympic Committee for 2014.
Dorey was sitting in second headed into the final run of the day, topped only by his fellow Canadian competitor Mike Riddle, but he threw down with a double cork 12, flat 3, switch left 9, switch right 7, right flat 5 to nail a win.
"Everyone had pretty good runs and no one could go that big, so I wasn't sure how I'd end up, but I'm stoked with a win under my feet. I couldn't be happier," Dorey said. "This is an awesome event. It's really well run."
Second place winner Riddle was hopeful that the first inclusion of ski halfpipe in the Grand Prix will be a precursor for great things to come in the sport.
"The Grand Prix is a huge snowboarding event and it's great for us with the push for the Olympics. I would love to go to the Olympics one day, it's my all time dream," Riddle said.
Dumont put down a series of solid hits to land in third, tapping him for a spot on the 2011 World Championship team for ski halfpipe, and making him hopeful for his sport's eventual Olympic inclusion.
"I feel like I've podiumed in a lot of different events and the only one left is the Olympics. It's the biggest venue with the most people watching, so if I can go there and take a medal it would be a dream come true," Dumont said. "I hope that everyone looks at this event, realizes that skiing can put on a good show and it's exciting. Hopefully they'll put us in the Olympics and we can do our thing."
Snowy conditions carried on steadily throughout the competition, but according to women's winner Groenwold, the snow was merely a motivational factor in how she competed.
"I've got the best wax tech in the world, Kenny from Swix, and I actually like slow pipes because it forces me to be aggressive," said Groenwold, who nailed a straight air mute grab, 900, left 5, right 5, left 360, switch right 540 for the win.
Groenwold was happy at the inclusion of ski halfpipe in the Grand Prix series, and hopes that coinciding ski and snowboard halfpipe events will continue.
"I think it's awesome that we're being included this year. It's a positive step moving forward for the Olympics," Groenwold said. "I think we've been competing with the snowboarders at other events and it was nice that the FIS saw it is easy to run our competitions together."
Hudak and fellow U.S. athlete Jess Cumming (Wilton, CT) hit the Grand Prix podium as well, finishing second and third. The two earned some Grand Prix trophies, not to mention the two spots that were up for grabs on the U.S. ski halfpipe World Championship team.
"This is the first Grand Prix that we've had as skiers and it's nice to be a part of such a well established and well run event," Hudak said.
In step with her fellow competitors, Hudak hopes the sport's growth will earn it an opportunity to be an Olympic discipline.
"It's a really good opportunity for us to show the world what we can do and hopefully the right people are watching and it will help our push for the Olympics in 2014," Hudak said.
The action at Copper Mountain continues Saturday with snowboarders dropping into the halfpipe at 11:30 a.m. MT, followed by the Paul Mitchell Progression Session at 7:00 p.m.
Full results below, but first here's some highlights:
2011 Visa U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix
Copper Mountain, CO – Dec. 10, 2010
1. Justin Dorey, Canada, 48.00
2. Mike Riddle, Canada, 47.30
3. Simon Dumont, Bethel, ME, 45.30
4. Tucker Perkins, North Hampton, NH, 44.50
5. AJ Kemppainen, Finland, 44.30
6. David Wise, Reno, NV, 42.00
7. Byron Wells, New Zealand, 41.20
8. Thomas Krief, France, 40.80
9. Torin Yater-Wallace, Basalt, CO, 37.60
10. Benoit Valentin, France, 36.90
11. Patrick Baskins, Vail, CO, 33.80
12. Dan Marion, Portland, ME, 31.50
1. Rosalind Groenwoud, Canada, 45.20
2. Jen Hudak, Salt Lake City, 44.60
3. Jess Cumming, Wilton, CT, 41.30
4. Brita Sigourney, Carmel, CA, 39.50
5. Dania Assaly, Canada, 38.90
6. Jamie Crane-Mauzy, Westport, CT, 38.30
7. Anais Caradeux, France, 36.00
8. Maddie Bowman, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 34.10
9. Kimmy Sharp, Park City, UT, 32.50
10. Angel VanLaanen, Bellingham, MA, 26.20
11. Keltie Hansen, Canada, 16.20
12. Devin Logan, West Dover, VT, 15.20