Two back-to-back World Cup Halfpipe events went down over the New Year’s Eve weekend at the Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. In both contests, Brendan Mackay and Eileen Gu held a solid lock on the top of the podium.
Frigid midwinter temperatures and a crisp halfpipe awaited the World Cup circuit in Calgary.
Men: Brendan’s big weekend
It was a big weekend for local boy Brendan Mackay, whose prowess in the stunt ditch has been honed in this very halfpipe in Calgary. On Thursday, December 30, Mackay delivered three impressive runs, each one better than the last, to walk away with the gold medal. Just two days later, on New Year’s Day, he won again in the second contest. Needless to say, it was a very satisfactory end to 2021 and start to 2022 for the 25-year-old Canadian.
Mackay stuck with the same run in both contests: He led off with a switch left double cork 900 critical into a switch left cork 720 safety, followed by a right cork 900 blunt, before finishing with back to back left and right double cork 1260 safeties.
In both contests, Mackay was trailed by American star Alex Ferreira in second place. Ferreira served up a left double cork 1260 safety into a right double flatspin 900 japan, a left cork 720 tail into a switch right 720 japan, and closed out with a left cork 1080 tail. In the second contest, he replaced the double flatspin with a rightside double cork 1260 mute.
Smooth operator Noah Bowman took third place in the second of two contests.
Third place in the two events rotated between two Canadians, Simon D’Artois and Noah Bowman. With his signature air to fakie and only one double—an explosive alley-oop double cork 720 safety, D’Artois clinched the bronze in the first contest. In the second event, it was Noah Bowman’s smooth operating that completed the podium. Ignoring the gusting wind, Bowman opened his run with a stylish nose-tap 180 into a switch left 720 mute, right 1080 tail, switch left 900 mute and a switch left double 900 safety.
Women: Eileen’s winning streak continues
Gu dialed back her run noticeably in Calgary—back to back 540s instead of 900s, and a switch 360 instead of a switch 720. Even so, it was more than enough for her to bring home the gold not once, but twice. Her run in both contests: right 540 buick, left 540 double japan, right 720 tail, switch left 360 japan, closing with her signature left and right alley-oop flatspin 540s.
Behind her, second and third place swapped between young American rookie Hanna Faulhaber and Canadian veteran Rachael Karker. Faulhaber took second in the first contest and third in the following one, thanks to her sizable amplitude and back to back flairs. In the second event, she stepped up her final hit from a left 540 to a left 900.
American up-and-comer Hanna Faulhaber podiumed at both events.
Karker put down left and right flairs of her own, followed by back to back cork 900s (ungrabbed) and a left 720 into a switch left 360, to bag the bronze in the first event. She mixed things up slightly two days later, throwing first one flair, then the 900s, then the other flair, and stepping up her switch 3 to a switch 5. It was enough to boost her into second place ahead of Faulhaber.
The next stop for the FIS World Cup halfpipe circuit is at Mammoth Mountain, California from 6-9 January, 2022.
videos: first contest
videos: second contest
Men's final results - Contest #1
Women's final results - Contest #1
Men's final results - Contest #2
Women's final results - Contest #2