Who is Ben Ferguson?
Name: Ben Ferguson
Country: United States
Age: 22 (turns 23 on 1/21/18)
2016/17 World Snowboard Tour ranking: 9th
- 2016 X Games halfpipe silver medalist
- 2016 Burton U.S. Open silver medalist
- 2012 Youth Olympic Games halfpipe gold medalist
Ferguson has not yet competed at a Winter Olympics. PyeongChang 2018 will be his debut.
Off to a strong start this season, Ferguson has emerged as a medal threat for PyeongChang. Two-time gold medalist Shaun White, 2014 silver medalist Ayumu Hirano and Australian snowboarder Scotty James remain the favorites in men's snowboard halfpipe, but Ferguson could put himself in the mix as well.
Attacking the halfpipe with impressive amplitude and impeccable style, Ferguson crafts some of the most unique runs in the field. Like U.S. teammate Danny Davis, he eschews the "spin-to-win" mentality that has dominated the halfpipe scene over the years in favor of stylish, technical tricks done well above the lip of the pipe. So far this season, he's been including the highly technical combo of a switch McTwist into a switch double backflip near the end of his runs.
After the family moved from Indiana to Oregon, Ferguson was on a snowboard at age 6. He grew up riding at Mt Bachelor along with his younger brother, Gabe, who is also a member of the U.S. snowboard team. Ferguson entered his first slopestyle contest at age 8 and joined Burton Snowboards' junior team a few years later after creating a "sponsor me" video and uploading it to YouTube.
Road to PyeongChang
In 2012, Ferguson competed at the first-ever Winter Youth Olympic Games. The 16-year-old was a double medalist there, winning gold in halfpipe and silver in slopestyle.
Ferguson eventually dropped slopestyle competitions to focus on halfpipe. His contest results in halfpipe steadily improved over the years, and in 2016, he landed in second place at two major events: X Games Aspen and the Burton U.S. Open. In 2017, he finished fourth at the Olympic test event that was staged in PyeongChang.
Entering the current Olympic season with a lot of hype, Ferguson has delivered on those expectations with podium results at the first two Olympic qualifiers. He finished second at the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, third at Dew Tour Breckenridge and fifth at the U.S. Grand Prix at Snowmass. Those results locked him into a spot on his first Olympic team.
Off the snow
Ferguson's off-mountain activities include skateboarding, mountain biking and fishing. He also enjoys riding motorcycles.
"Ben Ferguson has some really good style. He's got a powerful style, he goes big and is smooth. I look up to Ben and I love riding with him." — U.S. teammate Chase Josey on Ben Ferguson