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Alex Ferreira has perfect season after being told to quit skiing

After halfpipe skier Alex Ferreira crashed hard twice and withdrew during the January 2023 X Games, some who were concerned about his health urged him to quit the sport at age 28.

He’s glad he didn’t listen to them.

Ferreira, a two-time Olympic medalist, won all seven of his competitions this season and became the first U.S. male freestyle skier to have an undefeated World Cup campaign in an event that’s on the Olympic program.

“This is the best moment of my career I could have ever imagined,” said Ferreira, who grew up in Aspen, Colorado, skipping school to go watch the X Games. “I’m so grateful. I’m on an all-time high, cloud nine. And I would have missed that if I were to listen to the naysayers or people who didn’t believe enough in me, or believe enough in themselves.”

Ferreira credited his success in part to offseason cross-training on roller blades, cross-country skis and doing hockey drills on ice skates.

He began the season in December, winning at the same pipe in China that hosted the 2022 Olympic competition.

Back at those Games in February 2022, Ferreira had a plan to upgrade from his 2018 Olympic silver.

He wanted to put a second double cork 1620 into his run, but windy conditions meant he couldn’t generate enough speed to reach the required height.

Nico Porteous did try two 1620s, landing them back-to-back to become the first man from New Zealand to win Winter Olympic gold. Ferreira took bronze.

“I didn’t have enough training under my belt,” to do the two 1620s, Ferreira said. “Nico had been doing them for maybe a year and a half consistently, maybe two years, and I had just started.”

This season, Ferreira did incorporate the second double cork 1620 into his run. That propelled him in January to win the X Games for a third time.

His remaining goals: win the biennial world championships (which he can do next season), win Olympic gold and win an ESPY award.

Oh, and produce more episodes of Hotdog Hans, where he dresses up in disguise as an 85-year-old, washed-up Olympian and surprises people at a ski resort.

For his halfpipe runs, he wants to add even more difficulty before the 2026 Winter Games. He may upgrade two switch double cork 1080s to 1440s. It could be his final Olympics.

“Right now, in my heart, I would say, no (to going for 2030), my goal is to win this one and then leave it be, but you never know,” he said. “Tom Brady came back, M.J. came back. Maybe I’ll come back. We’ve got to win first.”