Dumont Claims Victory
Thousands of spectators turned out to watch the finals of The Honda Ski Tour superpipe competition under the lights Sunday night on Sun Valley, Idaho’s Bald Mountain. Two dozen of the world’s best halfpipe competitors put on an incredible show under the stars, but it was Simon Dumont who stole the championships with his signature grace, style, and accuracy.
THST is North America’s new elite, four-stop mountain festival and skiing competition that features the best halfpipe and ski cross skiers in the sport competing for $500,000, the biggest purse in skiing. Additional tour stops are Breckenridge, CO, Aspen/Snowmass, CO, and Squaw Valley USA, CA
The halfpipe finals on Sunday night were a sight to behold as pipe legends boosted up to 20 feet above the lip. Peter Olenick, the first athlete to successfully land a double back in halfpipe competition, was consistent with his signature trick but could not pull together an entire run, landing him in 10th place overall.
Simon Dumont’s signature run included a truck driver 540, rightside mute 540, tailgrab 900, alley oop five, and 1080. His amplitude and smooth style easily launched him into first place ahead of Matt Philippi. But when Philippi fell in his second run he dropped from 2nd to 4th overall securing the win for Dumont, without even needing a second run. Dumont chose to ski his last run like a victory lap, nailing every trick he attempted.
One of Oakley’s top phenom’s, sixteen-year-old
Jossi Wells from New Zealand snatched third place from the legendary field of halfpipe skiers. He laid down the same line as Dumont, but missed a grab and couldn’t match the amplitude of the THST halfpipe champion.
“It’s really cold but these people came out here so we’re going to put on a good show, and hopefully psyche these people up,” said winner Simon Dumont of knowing he had won the $25,000 before he dropped in for his second run. “I wanted to go big, do a little backflip at the end. Get them psyched so they come and watch more of The Ski Tour.”
THST co-founder Steve Brown says of ski cross versus halfpipe, “They’re two very different competitions but they are both spectacular and really fun to watch. We saw these guys going for it tonight. The night pipe really focuses everything on the athletes. These people really got their money’s worth—of course it was free. And Simon was just going huge which was fun for everyone to see.”
The groundbreaking event came to a close Sunday night with a final canon blast of fun—a VIP mansion party DJ’d by none other than Tommy Lee with DJ Aero while the Red Bull freestyle snowmobile team put on a big-air exhibition in a nearby snowfield. Next up: Breckenridge, Colorado. See you there.
Catch the Sun Valley, Idaho tour stop on ABC: Saturday, January 20, 4pm PST / 5pm MST / 2pm EST