Skiing: Kiwi Nico Porteous wins World Cup halfpipe gold as perfect final Winter Olympics warm-up

Freeskier Nico Porteous has found valuable form before next month's Beijing Winter Olympics, winning at the World Cup halfpipe in California.

Porteous, 20, produced a near-perfect display at Mammoth Mountain, scoring 97.00 out of a possible 100 - thanks to a second run that included back-to-back double 1620s.

Porteous' first World Cup triumph was all the more remarkable, given he'd tested positive for COVID-19 last week. The victory also betters his previous World Cup best - a silver medal won in Colorado last month.

Sitting eighth after his first run of 69.50, Porteous was in the box seat after his second, with a score that no other competitor could better.

"It was pretty tough," Porteous says. "The last few competitions, I haven't skied at my best, so the bobble in run one was a bit frustrating, to be honest. 

"I spoke with my coach Tommy at the bottom, and we decided it was all or nothing, so I should attempt that run again and just do my best.

"It gives me a lot of confidence going into Beijing. I was concerned that I wasn't quite where I thought I was, so to get the win today is really epic."

Porteous was joined on the podium by US duo David Wise and Aaron Blunck, while brother Miguel finished fifth and fellow Kiwi Ben Harrington sixth.

The event was Porteous' final competition before the Winter Olympics, beginning February 4.