David Wise won the gold medal in the Olympic debut of halfpipe skiing today, cutting through heavy snow to easily outclass the field. The 23-year-old American scored a 92 on his first run through the halfpipe clogged by wet, soggy rain and snow all night. Mike Riddle of Canada took silver with a 90.6 and Kevin Rolland of France won bronze.
Wise came into the Sochi Olympics with three straight Winter X Games titles to his credit. Variable conditions have played a part in many of the action-sport events. A week earlier, Shaun White had trouble on the same halfpipe and finished fourth. Not so for Wise, whose first-run score held up as the snow got heavier. It's been a disappointing Olympics for the US team, but the Americans essentially dominated the extreme sport events, Bleacher Report observes. It also notes that the top-ranked skier going into the event, Justin Dorey of Canada, fell on both his runs, leaving him in 12th place.