Wanaka, New Zealand Aug 22- Americans, Torin Yater-Wallace (CO) and Devin Logan (VT) opened the 2014 Olympic Winter Games qualifying period with with a full sweep of the FIS World Cup halfpipe skiing event at Cardona, New Zealand. The 2014 Games will take place in Sochi, Russia, and will debut halfpipe and slopestyle freeskiing as an official event. The New Zealand event sets the stage for the Olympic qualifying period which will last for 17 months. In that time period, athletes will have the opportunity to achieve required international ranking to be eligible for Olympic selection.
American Athletes have won the last six World Cup halfpipe skiing events dating back to March 2011. This year’s freeskiing results place five men in the top 15 and three women in the top ten. Logan, who is the reigning Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) overall and halfpipe champion, won by a huge three point margin after leading qualifications by seven points. Her impressive winning run consisted of a left 540 tail grab to flair, mute grab air, alley oop mute grab, and a 720 mute grab to switch alley oop 360.
“This is a great way to start my season and I am glad to start off with points for the U.S.’s nationl quota” said Logan,” I crashed hard on my first run and kind of bruised myself up, and I didn’t ski my best. I had to work hard to make it up and pull it together, but I was glad to be in the lead by three points in finals.”
Yater-Wallace, the reigning AFP hafpipe champion, posted a winning run of a right double cork 1260 mute grab, alley oop rodeo Japan grab, 900 tail grab, 1080 tail grab to a switch 900 mute grab. “We are trying to take it home for America since we are now in the Olympic qualifying period. It was a fun competition and I am so stoked to be here.”
Japan’s Manami Mitsuboshi took second place and Ayana Onozuka, came in third for the women’s. For the men’s France’s Thomas Krief took second and Benoit Valetin came in third. Next up is the New Zealand Freeskiing Open at nearby Snow Park, Aug. 28-Sept 1.