Blunck Takes Halfpipe Bronze at Youth Olympic Games
1. Kai Mahler (SUI) 2. Lauri Kivari (FIN) 3. Aaron Blunck (USA)
INNSBRUCK, Austria (Jan. 15) – It was a technical run with big air that got Ski and Snowboard Club Vail's Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, CO) his bronze medal at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics Games. Blunck's large double flair and ability to spin both natural and unnatural tricks under the Austrian blue skies earned his spot on the podium for the United States. The Youth Olympic Games is an exciting new event for young athletes to take their talent to the world's stage.
The inaugural Winter Youth Olympics Games consisted of halfpipe skiing and snowboarding. Showcasing talented young athlete's, ages 14 to 19, from across the globe.
Beautiful clear and cold day at Innsbruck.
Blunck's third place run included a double flair, left 900 tail, right 900 tail, left 540 mute-grab, right 720 true tail, and a switch left 720 mute grab.
Blunck has been making a name for himself after a successful second place at the 2011/2012 Copper Mountain stop of the U.S. Revolution Tour.
This is the third medal for the U.S. with Ben Ferguson (Bend, OR) winning men's snowboarding halfpipe and Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) taking the silver medal for women's snowboarding halfpipe.
Jeanee Crane-Mauzy (Waterville Valley, NH) of Axis Freeride did not compete due to an injury sustained in practice.
The Austrian Army volunteered its help for the event and assisted in slipping the halfpipe, setting up the podium and breakdown of the event
Two-time Olympic freestyle moguls medalist Shannon Bahrke (Squaw Valley, CA) was on site to present the awards to the halfpipe podium.
Aaron Blunck, bronze medalist ski halfpipe
It was definitely the technicality of my run that got me to the medals podium. A lot of other athletes had good style on their runs and put a lot of style into their tricks. But I focused on going bigger with more technicality and less style. It's been cool here - I have been meeting a lot kids with different languages and cultures.
Spencer Tamblyn, U.S. Snowboarding/U.S. Freeskiing Coach
It was an incredible day with all three medalists doing tricks and performing at a level they have never reached before. They all killed it and waved the flag high. We are proud of them. Aaron Blunck skied amazing with a double nine to start a run full of tricks including two 900's, a 540, 1080 and a switch 720.
Steele Spence, U.S. Judge
Youth Olympic Games is an amazing event to see the progression and future of skiing and snowboarding. The riders pulled out top level runs in the finals that would stand strong at any event. So impressive