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David Wise scores gold in halfpipe at Sochi Winter Olympics

David Wise of the United States wins the

David Wise of the United States wins the gold medal during the freestyle skiing men's halfpipe at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. Photo Credit: Agence Zoom/Getty Images/Christophe Pallot

American David Wise was forced to downgrade his routine but still shone brightly in a Sochi snowstorm to become the first men's freestyle skiing halfpipe Olympic champion on Tuesday.

The skiers were unable to unleash the acrobatics they are capable of as the persistent snow made for atrocious conditions but Wise nailed his first run of the night to record a score of 92.00 that none of his rivals was able to overhaul.

"I'm still trying to believe this whole crazy thing," the 23-year-old told reporters. "I feel so proud to be part of this sport and to stand at the top of the podium is just amazing."

Canadian Mike Riddle rebounded from a ragged first run to take silver with the 90.60 he notched at the second attempt, while France's Kevin Rolland won bronze with a score of 88.60.

The snow may have been picturesque but it also slowed the pipe and prevented the skiers from getting the height they needed to go for their best tricks in what they like to call "the show".

There were plenty of falls but the best freeskiers in the world were not going to pass up a chance to show what they could do on their event's Olympic debut, even if they had to adapt their routines.

"It was really unfortunate," Wise said. "I had all these crazy amazing runs that I wanted to do here at the Olympics but if you can't get the speed you can't do the tricks that you want to do.

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