Brendan Newby after his first run this morning. Kin Cheung/PA Images
good run

Ireland's Brendan Newby misses out on ski halfpipe final despite best score of the season

The Cork-born skier finished 22nd with just the top 12 going through.

AFTER HIS FIRST run in the men’s ski halfpipe this morning, Ireland’s Brendan Newby sat just two places outside the qualification places for the final thanks to a season-high score of 53.80.

However, a fall on his second run put paid to the Cork-born skier’s chances of making Thursday’s final and, in the end, the 21-year-old had to settle for 22nd place.

Known as Bubba, Newby’s family moved to Utah when he was still a child but he chose to represent Ireland at the ski halfpipe after its introduction as an Olympic event at Sochi 2014.

All four US competitors — including the defending champion David Wise — qualified for the 12-man final while New Zealand brothers Byron and Beau-James Wells both advanced too.

“It’s insane to be Ireland’s first ever freestyle skier and first ever half-piper,” Newby said after the event.

“I didn’t think that would ever happen. After my run I had a few kids message me on Instagram, now that it has happened I don’t want to be the last [Irish] freestyle skier.

“I want to get more people on the team, I want to get more people skiing for Ireland and get more people involved in what I love. This is the most fun thing you could ever do.

“I hope I made it look like I was having a good time because I was.

This has been unreal. For the rest of my life I’m an Olympian. That’s something I’ve wanted my entire life so for it to actually happen – I can’t even put it into words. On the second run I just popped a little too hard.

“If you pop too hard on a half-pipe you kind of fall out of the sky pretty far and I just couldn’t hold onto it. My hips were behind my feet [on landing] and when you’re there it’s a pretty tough position to get out,” he explained.

My first run was good. I was just going out there fired up to go big and it worked. I had one more trick that I wanted to put down in my second run.

“It was just about improving. I didn’t even know what place I was after the first run, I’ve only just found that out,” he admitted.

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