Snowboarder Greg Bretz Beats Shaun White in Olympic Pipe Qualifier

BRECKENRIDGE, CO - DECEMBER 14: (L-R) Shaun White in second place, Greg Bretz in first place and Taylor Gold in third place take the podium in the men's snowboard superpipe final at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships on December 14, 2013 in Breckenridge, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

U.S. Snowboarding’s Greg Bretz of Mammoth Lakes, CA outgunned Olympic gold medalist Shaun White in the halfpipe snowboarding final, taking the top spot in the first Olympic qualifier Saturday at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships. Bretz was the first to beat White in a halfpipe final in almost four years.

Bretz’s winning included a Frontside double cork 1080, cab double cork 1080, frontside 900, backside 900, frontside 1080, and cab 1080 to finish.

Greg Bretz Winning Run

“I’m so stoked it’s an Olympic qualifier and I was able to come out on top. I just try to ride for myself and stay away from what other people are doing and it ended up working out and I’m super stoked about it.”

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to hold onto first for two runs, but it was extremely nerve-wracking. Seeing Shaun mess up was very uncharacteristic of him. I’m ecstatic right now.”

Shanu White Second Place Run

White fell during his first run and showed signs of injury during a more timid and imperfect second run.

Bretz is in a strong position going into the next four qualification events. The top snowboarding athletes in the Olympic qualification hunt are Bretz, then White, Gold, Louie Vito, Danny Davis, Ferguson and Benji Farrow.

Selection to the Olympic snowboarding team will be made from athletes who have a top-four finish against the entire field in one of five selection events. Those athletes will be ranked with their best two of five qualifying events using World Cup scoring (1,000 point scale) comparing only USA athletes.

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About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding. When not on a board, Mike worked for Snowboarder and later oversaw TGR's online publication. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News where he is still CEO and Editor in Chief.

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