Aaron Blunck competes in the men’s freeski halfpipe final at the Toyota Grand Prix of the United States at Copper Mountain on December 10, 2021 in Copper Mountain, Colorado.
Aaron Blunck was so close to winning X Games gold in men’s halfpipe skiing on Sunday night.
The two-time Olympian, who will be number 3 in Beijing, led the field until New Zealand’s Nico Porteous put in the competition performance in the very last round of the evening to claim gold. Blunck won silver and David Wise, also competing in his third Olympics next month, won bronze.
Both Blunck and Wise showed scale and style throughout the final event of this year’s installment of the X Games in Aspen, Colorado, but both had free final races. This opened the door for Porteous, the reigning World Champion to retain his X Games title after a resounding success.
Blunck, 25, has now finished second in the X Games three years in a row. He won the event in 2017.
Wise, 31, is the reigning two-time Olympic gold medalist. He is also a four-time X Games halfpipe champion, his last victory being in 2018.
Earlier Sunday, Alex Hall, who will be competing in his second Olympics in a few weeks, added a bronze medal in men’s slopestyle skiing to the gold he won in big air on Saturday night. He also won the bronze medal in Sunday’s knuckle huck competition.
In slopestyle, Hall was in ninth place heading into the fourth and final run, but saved the best for last. After a clean rail section, he soared with massive airs on the bottom half of the course, finishing with an 1800 on the final jump to move into third place.
The results build on the momentum Hall already had ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Earlier this month he also won the slopestyle event at the Toyota Grand Prix of the United States at Mammoth. Mountain in California. The 23-year-old from Park City, Utah, will compete in both slopestyle and big air — which will make his Olympic debut in Beijing — at the Winter Games.