Get the shot dudes, you've got all the time in the world. Shaun's not going anywhere but up. PHOTO: Christy Chaloux

Get the shot dudes, you've got all the time in the world. Shaun's not going anywhere but up. PHOTO: Christy Chaloux

Shaun White said it best at the end of this first day of Olympic qualifying—“The wait is finally over!” And, finally we got to see for ourselves how high the level of men’s pipe has risen.  And I’m not just talking about Shaun and Louie. There were kids you’ve maybe never heard of like Norway’s Tore Holvik, Australian Nathan Johnstone, Zach Black and Matt Ladley finishing ahead of established pros. Jaws were permanently dropped all day.
Kier Dillon kicked off the field of 87 men at 9:00 a.m. under sunny skies and temperatures in the teens—a boost up from the sub-zero ground blizzards these riders had been training in for the last two weeks here at Copper. As coach Bud Keene said, riders were “eatin’ up pipe”—hauling ass and maxing out the 540-foot pipe with just five hits.
Danny Davis dominated the first of three heats, Ryo Aono easily took the second heat, and Shaun and Louie had a battle royale in the third and most heavily-contested heat. Louie took the lead after the first round, but Shaun wasn’t standing for it, so he pulled out the big guns and linked up doubles, combo-ing a frontside double cork to a Cab double cork. And you know what? We haven’t seen everything there is to see yet. Shaun’s got artillery he hasn’t fired at his competitors yet, and we’re hearing that others do, too. Check back in tomorrow for the Grand Prix finals to see where the new highmark is set in men’s and women’s Superpipe. Follow us on twitter.com/twsnow we’ll be updating throughout the day—you’ll be the first to know.

Here’s how it all broke down today:

#1

1st Place Run: Shaun White

#2

(corrected on 12/12)

Louie Vito

#3

Greg Bretz

#4

Danny Davis

5. Dustin Craven
6. Scotty Lago
7. Steve Fisher
8. JJ Thomas
9. Jack Mitrani
10. Ryoh Aono
11. Tore Holvik
12. Elijah Teter
13. Charles Reid
14. Nathan Johnstone
15. Zach Black
16. Frederik Austbo