U.S. skier David Wise blew away the competition amid blustery conditions Tuesday to win the first Olympic halfpipe men’s final during the 2014 Winter Games.
“I’m still trying to believe this whole crazy thing,” the 23-year-old told reporters after the event. “I feel so proud to be part of this sport, and to stand at the top of the podium is just amazing.”
Wise posted a 92.00 score in his first run, which Canada’s Mike Riddle, who finished with a silver medal, and France’s Kevin Rolland, who earned bronze, couldn’t top. The weather continued to worsen throughout the day as Sochi was nailed with sleet and snow, and Wise’s first-heat score held up throughout the miserable conditions.
“It was really unfortunate,” the three-time defending Winter X Games champion said, via CBSSports.com. “I had all these crazy amazing runs that I wanted to do here at the Olympics, but if you can’t get the speed, you can’t do the tricks that you want to do.”
Aaron Blunck, the only other American competing in the final, finished seventh. Wise’s win gives the U.S. its sixth gold and 20th medal of the games.