Freestyle: Vanlaanen wins in the Park City pipe, Wood second


American Angeli Vanlaanen grabbed her first World Cup ski halfpipe victory today at the Visa Freestyle International in Park City, Utah. Teammate Walter Wood also earned some podium glory, taking third in front of a pumped up home crowed.American Angeli Vanlaanen grabbed her first World Cup ski halfpipe victory today at the Visa Freestyle International in Park City, Utah. Teammate Walter Wood also earned some podium glory, taking third in front of a pumped up home crowed.

The best of two run format of today’s final worked to Vanlaanen’s advantage. She lost a ski after landing too low in the pipe during her first run, but bounced big strong her second run, landing a huge 720 and the victory. Canadian Megan Gunning finished second despite falling her second run. French Anais Caradeux rounded out the podium in third.

“It was amazing, it was so much fun to have friends and family here,” said Vanlaanen. “It’s a big feat for me, I just came back from an injury so it’s a big confidence booster, I’m stoked.”

The Washington native returned to competition at the X Games only a week ago after undergoing surgery to repair a broken collarbone.

Frenchman Kevin Rolland thrilled the Utah crowed with a pair of double back flips on the first hit of each of his finals runs for the win. He only learned the trick last week during X Games practice. Today was the first time he unveiled it in competition. “I am so happy, I feel like that because I landed my double flip at the top, it’s my first double flip landing perfect in competition so I’m stoked,” said Rolland. “The pipe here in Park City is so huge, I’ve never seen a pipe like this one, I want to come back.”

Teammate and good friend  Xavier Bertoni joined him on the podium in second place. Bertoni is on a roll after taking gold last weekend at the X Games. He is now leading the ski halfpipe World Cup standings, followed by Rolland in second.

Wood, the son of two ski patrollers, also threw a new trick at the event. “It was my first time throwing the 1440 in competition so I went for it, and it worked out,” Wood said. “I just did my run, I didn’t really think about the other competitors, I had goals for myself that I wanted to reach, and I definitely did that.”

Wood was quick to credit the boisterous Park City fans for fueling his flight. “[The crowed] makes the difference in our sport, they really push us and make us go that much bigger,” Wood said. 

For full results click here.


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