Team USA Earns Silver and Bronze Medals in Men's Freestyle Skiing Halfpipe Final

Four U.S. freestyle skiers qualified for the men's halfpipe final, and two made it onto the podium

Nico Porteous, David Wise, and Alex Ferreira
Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty

The U.S. men's freestyle halfpipe skiers just added two more medals to America's total.

In the halfpipe final on Friday night (Eastern), all four Team USA skiers followed up their qualification runs with strong performances. Aaron Blunck earned 7th place with a high score of 78.25, while David Wise took home the silver medal with a score of 90.75, and Birk Irving took 5th place with a score of 80.00. Alex Ferreira finished in 3rd place, with his best run scoring 86.75.

Nico Porteous of New Zealand nabbed the gold medal with an impressive first run that earned him a high score of 93.00.

David Wise
Al Bello/Getty

Unfavorable weather conditions, including high winds, made for a difficult final competition; however, all of Team USA held their own, making the freestyle halfpipe final an exciting event for both spectators and competitors.

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Former U.S. skier Gus Kenworthy, who opted to honor his mom by competing for Team Great Britain these Games, finished the halfpipe in 8th place with his top run — his third of the event — scoring 71.25.

Ahead of the final, Wise — the gold medal winner in the halfpipe at the previous two Olympic Games — told PEOPLE he was proud of himself for what he'd overcome to reach Beijing.

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"If I was to land the run that I'm hoping to land and end up anywhere on the podium, the feeling of satisfaction is just going to be immense," he told PEOPLE in an interview conducted ahead of his first run. "Everybody's overcome a lot to get to this place, to make the Olympic team, to not get COVID at the wrong time, et cetera, et cetera. But in 2019, I shattered my femur. So the journey back from that traumatic injury ... it's been a battle."

But he also wasn't feeling as much pressure to medal as in years prior, and instead had learned to appreciate "the mentorship role" he's taken on with younger athletes.

To learn more about Team USA, visit Watch the Winter Olympics, now, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.

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