Mike Riddle (CAN) - current World Champion in Halfpipe!
Canada's Mike Riddle battled treacherous crosswinds to sweep the halfpipe skiing final at the 2011 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships at Park City Mountain Resort.
After a fifth place finish in the 2009 World Championships, Riddle used a solid first run to secure the top spot Friday. Riddle’s 45.60 first run took the victory, followed by silver medalist and reigning World Champion from France, Kevin Rolland at 45.20 and the USA’s Simon Dumont at 43.20.
“I’m really happy to come out on top today,” said Riddle, “To be the current World Champ maybe when the Olympics are announced would be super exciting.” He added, “I think pretty much every competitor out there wants to take ski halfpipe to the Olympics.”
“My first run, my whole mentality was just to land on my feet and go through my tricks. Second run I was nervous up there watching but ended up having a victory lap and just had fun with it,” said Riddle.
Battling gusting crosswinds of 10 meters per second and flat light, Riddle was able to put down a double cork 1260 on the first hit followed by a right 900, left 900, flatspin 360, switch left 900 and switch right 900 on his first finals run.
Snowboard halfpipe made its Olympic debut in the 1998 Nagano Games, many, including the USA’s outspoken Dumont, consider that the ski version’s inclusion into the Games should be a “no-brainer”, especially considering the young demographic and huge TV audience that the discipline can garner. Dumont articulated what every other competitor at this event was thinking when he told reporters, “the Olympics is our biggest goal, that’s why we’re here, to put on a good show for the IOC.”