FREESTYLE SKIING: Blunck and Wise go 1-3 in Copper Mountain Halfpipe

American Freestyle star Aaron Blunck

There’s nothing like home cooking for 22-year-old American Aaron Blunck. He’s won three World Cup golds and all three on U.S. soil: at Copper Mountain, Colorado in 2013, at Park City, Utah in 2016 and last weekend in Copper Mountain once again in the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Halfpipe.

Blunck opened with an 82.75 score on his first run, then exploded with a sensational 96.25 score on his second try, including a new trick, a right double-cork 1440!

“It felt so good, I have been working on that trick for a couple years,” he said. “Last [season] I wanted to do it at the Olympics, but I tore my obliques right before and realized there was no way I could do it. I was just in too much pain. I came out this year and started working with Peter Olenick in Austria and my goal was to just work this trick and leave. That’s exactly what I did and I’m stoked to see it pay off.”

It’s Blunck’s ninth career World Cup medal, and seven of his nine have come in the U.S. PyeongChang Olympic champ David Wise of the U.S. finished third, scoring 90.50 in the first round.

Estonia’s 16-year-old Kelly Sildaru logged her second victory of the season in the last three weeks, winning the Halfpipe at 93.00 after taking the Slopestyle title in Austria on 23 November. She’s now won four career World Cup medals and three of them are wins! Olympic bronze medalist Brita Sigourney of the U.S. finished third.

In the Moguls competition in Ruka (FIN), Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury repeated his win from 2017, finishing well ahead of France’s Benjamin Cavet by 88.14-86.45. It was Kingsbury’s 50th career World Cup win. Summaries:

FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup
Copper Mountain, Colorado (USA) ~ 5-7 December 2018
(Full results here)

Men’s Halfpipe: 1. Aaron Blunck (USA), 96.25; 2. Miguel Porteous (NZL), 93.75; 3. David Wise (USA), 90.50; 4. Nico Porteous (NZL), 88.00; 5. Taylor Seaton (USA), 86.00. Also: 7. Hunter Hess (USA), 67.00; 8. Alex Ferreira (USA), 61.00; 9. Birk Irving (USA), 36.25.

Women’s Halfpipe: 1. Kelly Sildaru (EST), 93.00; 2. Cassie Sharpe (CAN), 90.50; 3. Brita Sigourney (USA), 88.00; 4. Rachael Karker (CAN), 86.00; 5. Maddie Bowman (USA), 76.75. Also: 6. Devin Logan (USA), 73.75; … 8. Annalisa Drew (USA), 59.50.

FIS Freestyle World Cup
Ruka (FIN) ~ 7 December 2018
(Full results here)

Men’s Moguls: 1. Mikael Kingsbury (CAN), 88.14; 2. Benjamin Cavet (FRA), 86.45; 3. Walter Wallberg (SWE), 82.38; 4. Jimi Salonen (FIN), 81.96; 5. Dmitriy Reikherd (KAZ), 76.76.

Women’s Moguls: 1. Perrine Laffont (FRA), 82.26; 2. Yulia Galysheva (KAZ), 81.48; 3. Tess Johnson (USA), 75.85; 4. Jakara Anthony (AUS), 75.44; 5. Jaelin Kauf (USA), 74.05.