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USA Men Sweep Podium; Faulhaber Second in Copper

By Libby Arganbright - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
December, 15 2023
Hunter, Alex & Birk
Hunter Hess, Alex Ferreira and Birk Irving stand on top of the podium together in Copper (U.S. Ski & Snowboard).

Stifel U.S. Freeski Team halfpipe team athletes showed insane talent in the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix in Copper Mountain, Colorado with the men sweeping spots one through five. Alex Ferreira, Hunter Hess and Birk Irving landed on the podium, going 1-2-3. On the women's side, Hanna Faulhaber took home second place. 

Athletes gathered on the massive 22-foot tall superpipe today in Copper and the Americans dominated the event. Two-time Olympic medalist Ferreira took home the win, coming off his first place win in China last week and ultimately landing himself his twelfth career World Cup podium. As always, Ferreira was calm, cool and collected, going huge on his hits. In his winning run, he executed switch left 1080 tail, right double 1620 safety, left 1080 tail, switch right double 1080 Japan, left double 1620 safety. Hess, looking stylish, earned his third World Cup podium finish, coming in second, also fresh off a podium win in Secret Garden the week before. Birk Irving, Olympian and 2022-23 FIS Crystal Globe winner, took third for his seventh World Cup podium at his first event of the season. 

“It's epic to be in my home state of Colorado and just down the road from Aspen,” said Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athlete Alex Ferreira. “All these other guys are all so young and so talented and I'm the old guy in the field now so I’ve just got to keep working super hard and keep doing my absolute best and honestly just keep having fun. The sport of skiing is growing. It's getting better and everybody is insanely talented these days, so to just to be in the mix is an absolute blessing.”

Three-time Olympic slopestyle medalist Nick Goepper made his debut in halfpipe and put down an impressive run to just miss the podium in fourth place. Three-time Olympic halfpipe medalist David Wise was fifth, Dylan Ladd eighth and three-time Olympian Aaron Blunck landed in 10th. 

On the women’s side of things, Faulhaber, the reigning world champion, landed in second place, clinching her fourth career World Cup podium. In her winning run, she threw straight air tail, left cork 900 safety, flair 540 safety, left 720 mute, switch right cork 720 Japan into a left 1080 safety. Teammates Riley Jacobs and Svea Irving also competed in finals, coming in sixth and seventh place respectively. 

Eileen Gu ultimately came out on top for China finishing in first and Zoe Atkin of Great Britain finished third.

"I'm so happy with the whole team today," said Stifel U.S. Freeski Team halfpipe team head coach, Mike Riddle. "To have 10 athletes advance to finals is amazing and they all threw down in the contest. Huge congrats to Alex Ferreira for staying undefeated this season and Hanna and Hunter on their second podium of the year. Big congrats to Birk for putting it down when it counts on his third run to take third. Goepper made his debut in the halfpipe scene and walked away with fourth, showing he has what it takes. I'm a very proud coach every day, but especially today!" 

Next up, the Stifel U.S. Freeski Team halfpipe athletes take a break from competition before heading to Mammoth Mountain Jan. 31 - Feb. 4, 2024.

Women’s Halfpipe
Men’s Halfpipe