BEND, Ore. - Central Oregonians gathered to cheer two top Bend snowboarders as they returned to the South Korean slopes Tuesday for the Winter Olympics halfpipe finals. Ben Ferguson of Team USA and Kent Callister, representing Team Australia, where among a dozen athletes to qualify for the finals.
Atlas Cider Company held a viewing party for fans Tuesday night, and all on hand were stoked about how well the pair has been doing.
On Monday, Ferguson qualified for finals after scoring a 91 on his first run. He scored an 89.75 on his second run. The top score of two runs counts in qualifying.
Kent Callister of Bend, but representing Australia, finished 12th in qualifying to earn the last spot in the final. His best score was 77.
"It's pretty exciting," one person at the gathering said. "I remember last year when I was skiing, I saw the private half-pipe they set up for Ben and (Ferguson brother) Gabe and I thought that was pretty cool to watch. And here were are a year later, and they’re in the Olympics, and we’re doing it. It’s pretty cool. Go Bend!"
A woman on hand said, "My son is a snowboarder who is friends with Gabe and Ben Ferguson, and so I had some friends coming out tonight. So I thought I would check out the halfpipe, and hopefully Ben will kick some booty tonight!"
But another man said, "You know, he’s going up against a legend (Shaun White), so it’s going to be pretty tough, but I hope he’s standing on that podium -- just one of them, whichever one it is. I just want them up there."
As it turned out, Ferguson just missed that podium, finishing fourth in the finals, while Callister finished in 10th place.
Ferguson had a rough first run, scoring 43 points out of 100. He came back strong for his second run, putting up a score of 83.50. His third run was his best, and his score of 90.75 was good enough for 4th place.
American Shaun White came back from his tough turn at the 2014 Sochi Games, winning his third gold medal on his final run, and the 100th American gold medal in Winter Olympics history.
The best score of three runs counted as the rider's final score.
This was Ferguson’s first trip to the Olympics.