It wasn't a backyard rink that Mike Riddle's father Bob constructed in the backyard of their home in Sherwood Park, Alta. It was a length of steel pipe and that is where Riddle started to learn how to be a daredevil on skis.
The skiing halfpipe competition -- like the snowboard version except done on skis -- happened amid difficult weather conditions, falling snow and a fog rolling in. There was even some rain. It didn't seem to bother Riddle, who won the overall World Cup title in 2013. He nailed his second run to finish behind David Wise of the United States, who posted his top score on his initial run in the final. In skiing halfpipe, competitors make two runs, the best score being the one that is retained. As it turned out, Wise wiped out on his second run.
Noah Bowman of Calgary was fifth and Justin Dorey of Vernon, B.C., who won the overall World Cup title this season, was 12th.
Halfpipe skiing became an Olympic event largely because it was championed by Canada's Sarah Burke, who died in training two years ago. Riddle was a friend of Burke's, considering her an inspiration for his career.
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- Mike Riddle