Dew Tour is always a fun event for the athletes. There is lots of live streaming and TV coverage that creates a lot of hype around the event. The town of Breckenridge basically turns into a small party with live music and even a rail event in the middle of main street. On the mountain one of the best halfpipes and biggest jumps in the country crawl down the mountain to the base area that is filled with spectators and Mountain Dew tents. The athletes are surrounded by a fun, high energy that is provided by tons of people that are excited to watch such an event.
When qualifiers rolled around, the same atmosphere continued as, the weather was decent except for the slight overcast. After getting a bit more time in the halfpipe since the Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, the competitors were feeling a bit better in the icy pipe. Every athlete came out firing with almost every single person laying down at least one run that they wanted. The Americans especially were feeling the good vibes that the event was providing. Aaron and seven other U.S. athletes ended up advancing to the finals.
With almost every athlete from the U.S. Freeskiing team in the finals, the fight for a spot on the Olympic Team was on. The top of the pipe was filled with emotions as the competitors tried to calm their nerves the best they could. The finals meant three runs for the athletes to lay down their best run. Aaron's first run was a bit of a throw away as he slipped up on one of his hits. After getting a bit of the nerves out in his first throw away run, Aaron was ready to put a run to his feet. He did just that. As each hit was almost bigger than the next, Aaron made his way down the pipe in a flawless manner. He tweaked every grab and stomped every technical trick as the judges thought the same rewarding Blunck with a 93.33. This put him in first place going into the third and final runs. Aaron knew that his score may not hold the top spot so he wanted to pull out something big. Unfortunately in the middle of his run he ended up losing a ski making it impossible to try what he wanted. Soon enough, Alex Ferreira made his way down the pipe in a hungry to win type matter. With his third run, Ferreira was able to beat Aaron out of the top spot with 94.66. The podium ended up rounding out with Alex Ferreira taking the top spot, Aaron Blunck coming in second, and Kevin Rolland in the third position.
The level of competition was extremely high and fun to watch. With some very high scores being presented, it is becoming clear that the fight for an a spot on the Olympic Team will not come easy. The next Olympic qualifier will be the Toyota Grand Prix in Aspen Snowmass, Colorado. If things go well, hopefully some spots will be handed out to some U.S. team athletes.