SOCHI, Russia -- The halfpipe was upgraded from decidedly subpar -- or as Hannah Teter called it a "junk show" -- but conditions were still far from ideal for Olympic snowboarders on Tuesday in men's qualifying.
U.S. snowboarders Shaun White and Danny Davis moved directly into the final, which will be held later at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. White had the best score of qualifying, while Davis was fourth. The other two Americans, Taylor Gold and Greg Bretz, are in the semifinals.
"It's definitely not the best pipe in the world but it's night and day from where it was," White said in the mixed zone after qualifying. "I woke up this morning having no idea what it was going to be like.
"I hope they can keep it in good shape for the final.
The two-time defending gold medalist called it a "nightmare" to pull it together in terms of preparation and practice.
Davis and Teter had been among the toughest critics of the halfpipe.
On Monday, Davis said that he thought it would get pulled together because "there might be some reputations on the line here of half-pipe builders."
He gave the halfpipe improved marks after qualifying, comparing it to conditions at Mt. Hood.
"It’s bumpy, but it’s much better than practice," Davis said. "The conditions of the snow -- there is a lot of water in it. So it is going to soft and little bit bumpy anyway. There is nothing you can do with that.
"You can't edge as hard, you have to ride a little more flat base. there is a lot of things that go into riding a slushy halfpipe."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun