Wise a favorite in Olympic debut of ski halfpipe

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 17, 2014 at 5:32 pm •  Published: February 17, 2014

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Shhh! Don't say anything because American halfpipe skier David Wise is trying to keep this hush-hush until race day: He's got a new trick to unveil in the final.

It's a good one, too, he pledges. Nail it cleanly and a medal could be hung around his neck in the event that's making its Olympic debut on Tuesday.

"If I land it, yeah, pretty good shot," he said.

Care to give a hint as to what's in store?

"No," the freestyle skier from Reno, Nev., said. "You'll have to watch."

Wise will only try the new maneuver, though, if the weather is decent — unlike Monday when there was heavy fog hanging over the halfpipe in a training session.

Even without a new trick up his sleeve, Wise will be among the favorites. There's actually quite a deep field, with Wise's teammates Torin Yater-Wallace, Lyman Currier and Aaron Blunck also medal contenders. Same with Kevin Rolland of France and Mike Riddle of Canada.

Here are five things to know before the game's newest event begins:

FEELING GROOVY: Yater-Wallace is steadily getting back to health after breaking his ribs in December. He also spent nearly a week in the hospital earlier that month with a collapsed lung.

Asked how he's feeling, the 18-year-old responded: "All good. I'm awesome."

Well, that's not entirely true. He said the halfpipe was making him a "little sore" because of the way it is set up.

"A lot of flat landings early for everybody, but now it's getting better," he said.

PATCH OF HONOR: On the left sleeve of his jacket, Riddle wears a patch featuring a moose with ski goggles. He said that's one of six he and his Canadian teammates could've chosen.

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