Gold finishes just shy of podium at US Grand Prix |

Gold finishes just shy of podium at US Grand Prix

Steamboat Springs snowboarder Taylor Gold flies high during the qualifiers at the 2021 Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain on Thursday. He finished fifth in the finals on Saturday.
U.S. Freeski Team/Courtesy photo

COPPER MOUNTAIN — Steamboat Springs snowboarder Taylor Gold finished fifth in the men’s halfpipe finals Saturday at the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain.

Gold earned an 87, his highest score of three runs. He was just 0.75 points off the podium and only 2.25 points out of first place.

The competition was stiff, but Japan’s Ruka Hirano was the victor, earning an 89.25 on his first run. No one was able to best it for the rest of the event.

Jan Scherrer, of Switzerland, came close, earning an 88.5 on his final run. Japanese boarder Yuto Totsuka rounded out the podium in third.

Gold was the best American finisher, barely beating Chase Josey, who took sixth with an 85.25. Shaun White finished ninth with a score of 75.5.

The Grand Prix was one of four U.S. Olympic halfpipe snowboard qualifying events. The next qualifier will take place next week, Dec. 16-18, when the Dew Tour returns to Copper. The final qualifier will be Jan. 6-9 at Mammoth Mountain.

Gold is looking to make his second Olympics. A high finish in a qualifying event helps athletes earn a spot on the Olympic team.

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