ZHANGJIAKOU, China – The United States won a pair of medals in Saturday’s men’s freestyle skiing semi-final, seemingly defying gravity as much as the puny, snowy and windy conditions of Hebei province for permission.
Saturday’s ramp master, New Zealander Nico Porteous, took the gold in his first run, scoring 93. David Wise, who has won the event’s two previous gold medals, also consider his first run his best: a 90.75, good for silver at these Games. With 86.75 in his first run on Saturday, Alex Ferreira, who won a silver medal in the second half at the 2018 Olympics, won bronze.
There were plenty of amazing tricks – Porteous landed five, including backslides with four and a half turns, in the run that gave him Saturday’s top spot – but the main organizers The formula reports the air temperature as minus 12 Fahrenheit and is difficult. The winds have caused many of the skiers to curb their ambitions.
“People are getting blown away on deck, and even if the wind doesn’t blow everyone like it does on deck or in the middle, it’s still there,” Gus Kenworthy, who competed for England and finished eighth, eight years after winning a silver medal in Sochi. “It’s spiraling in the middle, so it’s really the killing margin. People had to run back a lot.”
More than half of the 12, including Porteous and Wise, had at least one run on Saturday that yielded single-digit scores.
“The people in the top three right now have crazy runs, but that’s not the kind of race they want to do,” said Kenworthy. “I know that most sectors really degrade just to try to downgrade one.”
Wise seems a little worried about how Porteous has weathered betrayal in the freestyle ski final of the Beijing Olympics, which will end on Sunday.
“He did pretty much every run he wanted despite the wind,” he said, “while Alex and myself we stepped back a bit and landed a run that we thought we were going to run. I will do well today.”
But Porteous acknowledged the dangers of the day, even as he raved about gold medals four years after winning bronze at the Olympics.
“I stomped on what I knew and tried my best and left everything,” he said.
However, he added: “It’s so cold right now, I’m speechless.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/18/sports/olympics/david-wise-alex-ferreira-skiing-halfpipe.html David Wise and Alex Ferreira Win Silver and Bronze in the Freestyle Halfpipe category