Aspen’s Alex Ferreira places third at X Games
The Aspen Times
Alex Ferreira collected a Winter X Games medal that will stay right at home in Aspen.
The Aspen native superpipe skier — who fell just short of a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team — was all the way back in sixth place in the men’s ski superpipe finals after the first two rounds Friday night.
But the 19-year-old skier put together a dazzling final run at Buttermilk that yielded Winter X bronze.
Defending X Games gold medalist and U.S. Olympian David Wise, of Reno, Nev., won the 2014 gold in ski superpipe with a high score of 92.00.
French skier Kevin Rolland was next at 88.66.
Ferreira’s final-run 85.33 score produced Aspen’s first hometown medal in the Winter X Games this year.
“I fell on my first run. I was super-stressed,” Ferreira said. “Then, I fell on the second run, and I thought, ‘Oh my God.’”
After usually scoring his best on his first run, Ferreira faced a one-run challenge Friday night.
“I decided I was just going to ski, and that’s what I did,” Ferreira said with a brilliant smile.
He said the crowd of his hometown supporters really helped him win a Winter X Games medal.
Ferreira carried the mantle for Aspen after fellow Aspenite Torin Yater-Wallace opted out of the finals to continue to recover from a serious injury suffered earlier in the season and prepare for the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics.
Coming off the broken ribs suffered in training last month, Yater-Wallace was the final qualifier for the finals from the early eliminations Wednesday night.
“After only a week of being back on snow, I decided to give my body a break in order to be ready for Sochi,” said 18-year-old Yater-Wallace, who started a scholarship in his name last year at the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, where he got his competitive start.
“I am disappointed I won’t be competing (in the X Games superpipe final). But this is what my body needs in preparation for Sochi,” said Yater-Wallace, who finished second to David Wise in the 2013 Winter X Games.
“I will be returning to the X Games next year with a plan to win a medal,” said Yater-Wallace, a crowd favorite and acknowledged teen heartthrob.
“Alex winning a medal is like a dream come true,” Yater-Wallace said of his fellow Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club product. “I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Aspen will have a shot at another Winter X medal when Gretchen Bleiler competes in the women’s snowboard superpipe – her final event ever in the Winter X Games. She will retire from competition at the end of the season.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User