Thursday 20 February 2014

Ski Halfpipe Makes Debut Under Heavy Snowfall

"Just to be here is unbelievable and then to get a medal -- I'm speechless." (Mike Riddell)

Thick, clumping snowflakes fell from the sky at the halfpipe ski slope.  The thin crowd, given there were no Russians competing, huddled under umbrellas and raincoats.  It would be a challenge for the crowd to see the competitors and for the competitors to the see the halfpipe.  But the show must go on.

The skiers lined up one by one, skiing onto the halfpipe, and then performing a series of tricks.  The tricks were limited yesterday, given the poor visibility.  Skiing for Canada were Noah Bowman, Justin Dorey and Mike Riddell.  Mike, a 27 year old from Sherwood Park, Alberta, was no stranger to international competition.  The veteran had clinched the World Cup Crown in 2011.  He was not about to be deterred by the heavy snow, having competed in all types of weather.

Mike was disappointed with his mediocre first run, placing only sixth.  He knew that he had to impress the judges with his second run.  He came out with back to back double cork 1260's.  The rest of his run was strong and clean.

After two runs, American David Wise captured gold with a 92.00 score.  France's Kevin Rolland earned bronze with an 88.60 score.  And Canada's Mike Riddell claimed silver with a 90.60 score. Congratulations, Mike!

Mike Riddle of Canada on the podium after winning the silver medal during the Men's Ski Halfpipe in Rosa Khutor Extreme Park at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, February 18, 2014.

Mike Riddell courtesy

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