Healthy, hyped Ferreira back at X Games Aspen in front of the hometown crowd |

Healthy, hyped Ferreira back at X Games Aspen in front of the hometown crowd

Alex Ferreira holds up his gold medal at the base of the superpipe after the X Games men’s ski halfpipe final on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020.
Kelsey Brunner/Aspen Times file

After winning X Games Aspen in back-to-back years in 2019 and 2020, injuries became burdensome for Aspen’s Alex Ferreira. The homegrown halfpipe skier still did enough to make last year’s Olympic team, winning bronze in Beijing, but it was a grind.

“I’m feeling healthy for the first time in long time. I’m coming into X Games healthy, which makes me super happy,” he said in the lead-up to this year’s contest at Buttermilk Ski Area. “X Games is our Super Bowl, and I’m extremely excited to be healthy and be able to compete to my fullest of capabilities. The skiing has been awesome. I finally feel like I’m skiing for me, and I’m loving it more and more, and I’m skiing well, so that makes me super stoked.”

Two years ago, he had surgery to fix some nerves in his neck. Last season, he battled a bad ankle sprain and a bone bruise in his knee. He opted out of X Games Aspen 2022 to heal up before the Olympics, a tough decision for someone who considers his hometown event the pinnacle of the sport.

Now, he’s healthy and ready to go Sunday night, when the men’s halfpipe skiing finals take place to close out this year’s X Games Aspen.

“It’s just nice to wake up every day and be able to walk out of bed for starts. To be able to ski at my highest level, that’s a cherry on top, absolutely,” Ferreira said. “The Olympics was spectacular. I’m so grateful to walk away healthy and walk away with another medal. For me, the bronze was a gold, considering I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to go at all, considering the injury I had, so I’m super thankful for that. My summer was great.”

Ferreira, who also won Olympic silver in 2018, has competed three times so far this season. He finished fourth in both the Copper Grand Prix and the first of two World Cup contests in Calgary only last weekend. But, after missing the podium twice, he finally broke through and won the second World Cup Calgary contest on Jan. 21, his first World Cup win since the 2021 Copper Grand Prix.

“Fourth is a brutal position to be in. I haven’t been there very often in my career, and now I know what it feels like. And, that’s enough for me,” he said. “It’s super good to be on top of the podium. It’s nice to ski how I want to ski. It was just flowing.”

Ferreira, 28, is feeling as good as he ever has. He also feels he still has a lot he can bring to the sport and plans to remain among halfpipe skiing’s best athletes for as long as he can. He’s already secured a spot on the U.S. national team’s squad for the world championships later this winter.

But first, he is headed back to X Games — an event he has not tired of.

“I was talking with an old friend of mine’s dad, and he said, ‘I think you are getting better, Alex.’ And, I think I’m getting better, too, and I think that’s what keeps the motivation and the spark,” Ferreira said. “The novelty has surely not worn off. Maybe the nerves have worn off a little bit, or at least I understand how it all works now, which is great. But, the novelty has definitely not worn off. I’m excited to compete. Aspen is my hometown. X Games is our Super Bowl of skiing. It’s just so cool to be able to do it in front of my hometown and my friends and my family and give it my absolute all.”

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