Double Olympian Brendan Newby has finished 20th in the qualifying rounds of the Freestyle Skiing Halfpipe today, with a score of 47.0 which was achieved in the second run. The top twelve finishers in qualification move to the finals on the 19th February, where they contest the medals. This finish position is two positions better than his 22nd place in Pyeongchang four years ago.

In the Halfpipe qualifiers athletes have two runs, two opportunities to get a score, with their best result counting towards the overall standings. In the first run Newby, who was eighth starter, began strongly, getting height in his early tricks before falling, which resulted in a low score, and putting pressure on the Cork born skier to land a clean run in the second chance.

Newby, speaking after his second run, described his qualifying rounds,

“In the first run I did a left cork 900 and I went really big on it, and I was hyped on that one. I then came into a red cork 540 and then the next trick was a left flare. And those top three were going really, really good. Then I was just going real fast, I had a lot of heat coming into the trick that I fell on, the cork 720, and I just got a little too psyched, a little too amped and I popped."

"I landed really low on the wall, you land backwards, so I landed really low on the wall going backwards, so I got crunch rapped going into the transition. That one definitely got me rattled coming into the second run.”

After the early disappointment in the first run, Newby refocused with the pressure on to finish a run cleanly,

“I wish I could have put down that first run clean because I was going much bigger than I normally do, but hey, it’s a competition and stuff happens that you would rather didn’t happen, but I did my best today and that’s what really matters. Coming into the second run, the plans didn’t change, I was going to do the same run either way. But I just had to get over the nerves of crashing in the first run. It is way better to crash second run than the first one.”

Coach Ian Burson played an important role in helping Newby refocus, who described the process of preparing for the second run,

“You just have to reset your brain and forget about the first run.  Ian and I were talking, it’s the same thing I’ve done all year, I’ve landed 8 out of 8 competition runs this year before the Olympics. So he said ‘look dude, you’ve put that down eight times already, you can do it a ninth’. It’s just really good having him up there, he helps so much.”

In his off-season Newby coaches skiing to children in Utah, and has been motivated by not only their support but the support of the 21,000 schoolchildren around Ireland who have been completing the Road to Beijing, the Olympic Schools Challenge run as part of the OFI Dare to Believe programme,  

I do it for the kids. I want more people to get into what I’m doing because I love what I’m doing. It brings so much to my life. If I can be a role model to bring this to someone else’s life then I’m going to keep doing it, it’s just awesome. I love all the support I’m getting, love all the videos from the kids, the cheers. I watched it before the competition, I am really thankful for all the kids out there. I do it for you.”

There now is just one Team Ireland athlete left to compete, Thomas Maloney Westgaard races the Cross-Country 50km on the 19 February, and will start with a renewed motivation following his stand out performance last week in the Cross-Country 15km Classic where he finished in an outstanding 14th position overall.


Men’s Freestyle Skiing Halfpipe Qualification Rounds:

First – Aaron Blunck (USA) Run 1 26.25, Run 2 92.00 Best Score 92.00

Second – Nico Porteous (NZL) Run 1 75.5, Run 2 90.50, Best Score 90.50

Third – Birk Irving (USA) Run 1 83.35, Run 2 89.75, Best Score 89.75

20thBrendan (Bubba) Newby (IRL) Run 1 10.75, Run 2 47.00, Best Score 47.00




06:00 Thomas Maloney Westgaard, Cross-Country Skiing 50km Free

For full schedules, results and information on Team Ireland head to, and


The updated schedule for Team Ireland in Beijing 2022 can be found HERE.




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