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Alex Ferreira leads U.S. podium sweep at Copper Mountain Grand Prix

Ferreira, USA crush Copper Mountain freeski HP
Americans took the top five spots in Copper Mountain, including slopestyle Olympic medalist Nick Goepper finishing fourth in his debut and Alex Ferreira’s 97-point opening run holding up for gold.

Two-time Olympic medalist Alex Ferreira won ski halfpipe at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colorado, as the U.S. swept the top five places of a freestyle skiing World Cup for the second time.

Ferreira scored 97 points on his first of three runs, and it held up. He was joined on the podium by Hunter Hess (95-point second run) and Birk Irving (92.5-point third run).

Nick Goepper, a three-time Olympic slopestyle medalist who switched to halfpipe this season, and two-time Olympic halfpipe champion David Wise rounded out the top five.

Ferreira, 29, has now won back-to-back World Cups. Last season, he crashed out of the X Games final, then took bronze at the world championships.

Ferreira was also part of the last U.S. men’s freeski World Cup podium sweep in January 2018, when the late Kyle Smaine earned his lone World Cup victory.

The U.S. took the top 12 spots that day. It was the only other time the U.S. swept the top five of a freestyle skiing World Cup since the discipline was added to the Olympics in 1988 (at first as a demonstration sport).

Hess, 25, has made the podium in back-to-back weeks, five years after his only previous World Cup podium.

Irving, 24, was fifth at the Olympics and runner-up at last season’s X Games.

New Zealand’s Nico Porteous, the 2022 Olympic gold medalist, did not enter after placing 10th at last week’s World Cup in China.

Also Friday, China’s Eileen Gu extended an undefeated streak in women’s ski halfpipe dating to March 2021. Her three runs were the three highest scores of the final — 94.75, 95.75 and 93.

Gu prevailed over American Hanna Faulhaber (92), who won last year’s world title while Gu was sidelined by knee injuries. Brit Zoe Atkin, who won last January’s X Games in Gu’s absence, was third (91).

Japan’s Hiroaki Kunitake and Kokomo Murase swept the men’s and women’s snowboard big air titles. Red Gerard, the 2018 Olympic men’s slopestyle gold medalist, was the top American in third.

Murase, 19, scored 99.75 points on her second of three runs with the first backside triple cork 1440 in women’s competition, according to commentators.

The Toyota U.S. Grand Prix and Visa Big Air at Copper Mountain conclude Saturday with snowboard halfpipe and ski big air finals.

Highlights from Friday and Saturday finals air Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET on CNBC (big air) and 4:30 on NBC (halfpipe). All coverage also streams on and the NBC Sports app for subscribers of those channels, plus on Peacock

Gu dominates HP for Copper Mountain freeski title
Beijing gold medalist Eileen Gu continued her dominance on the halfpipe, taking gold ahead of American Hanna Faulhaber at the Copper Mountain Grand Prix.