Winter Games Athletes
The fun-loving Riddle, who has earned the nickname "The Riddler," will make his Olympic debut in Sochi, where he is a strong contender for a gold medal in the ski halfpipe along with teammate Justin Dorey. The former Alpine racer said he became bored with the discipline and joined a freestyle program at the insistence of friends who thought he would excel in the sport. His top results at the X Games were a pair of fourth-place finishes in the Super-Pipe at Tignes last year and again in Aspen in January. Riddle has three World Cup victories on his resume and four other podium finishes, and also won last season's Crystal Globe as the top halfpipe skier on the FIS circuit. The 2011 Dew Tour champion was fourth at the world championships in Norway last year after winning gold at worlds in 2011. Riddle has called the late Sarah Burke his hero and inspiration in the sport. Burke, who was considered an early favorite to medal in Sochi, died in January 2012 from injuries she sustained in a crash during training.