Colorado’s high-flying skiers, snowboarders dominating as the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics close in |

Colorado’s high-flying skiers, snowboarders dominating as the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics close in

Aspen's Alex Ferreira, Crested Butte's Aaron Blunck top contenders to make U.S. Freeskiing Team in Beijing Olympics, with Colorado's Olympic veterans Red Gerard, Chris Corning and Taylor Gold close to securing spot on U.S. Snowboarding Team.

Colin Bane
Alex Ferreira, of the United States, reacts after his run in the halfpipe finals, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, during the Dew Tour freestyle skiing event at Copper Mountain, Colo. (AP Photo/Hugh Carey)

Colorado’s top freeskiers and snowboarders had a busy December as they dominated contests that served as qualifiers for the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.

The three events this month — Big Air at Steamboat, U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain and the Dew Tour at Copper Mountain — were among the first steps to making the U.S. Freeski and U.S. Snowboard Olympic teams.

Chances are once again good that Colorado will be well represented on the U.S. Olympic halfpipe ski team. Aspen’s freeskiing Olympian Alex Ferreira, 27, won the halfpipe events at both the U.S. Grand Prix and Dew Tour, essentially guaranteeing his spot to represent Team U.S.A. in Beijing. Crested Butte’s Aaron Blunck, 25, finished second at the Dew Tour behind Ferreira, and Winter Park’s Birk Irving, 22, finished fourth at both the U.S. Grand Prix and Dew Tour.

While the selections won’t be officially announced until after the U.S. Grand Prix event at Mammoth Mountain, California, in January, two wins in qualifying events seal the deal. U.S. Freeski plans to send the maximum of four athletes per event to Beijing, and Ferreira is currently sitting in the top spot.

Chris Corning executes a trick in the slopestyle finals of the Dew Tour snowboarding event at Copper Mountain, Colo., Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021 (AP Photo/Hugh Carey)

“The last two results definitely helped my position,” Ferreira says. “I don’t want to get too excited until the ink’s dried, but I think I have a good shot of going and a good shot of doing well there. I’m excited for them to announce the team and, hopefully, to represent America in the Olympics and do my absolute best.”

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