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Men's halfpipe: Scotty Lago hails his injured friends

February 17, 2010 |  6:15 pm

They weren’t the first words out of his mouth -- but close.

Olyblog American snowboarder Scotty Lago, seconds after his first run in the semifinals in the men’s halfpipe on Wednesday night at Cypress Mountain, paid tribute to his injured friends.

“Danny, Kevin -- that run was for you guys,” Lago said. “I wish you were here with me.”

Lago, a first-time Olympian, was paying tribute to fellow snowboarders Danny Davis and Kevin Pearce. Pearce, who suffered a severe head injury in training on Dec. 31, was the subject of an NBC feature on Monday.

Pearce is learning to speak again and able to walk with assistance but has impaired vision, NBC reported.

Davis was injured in an all-terrain-vehicle mishap a few weeks later, and needed two surgeries. One of his representatives said here this week that Davis would be able to snowboard and compete again next season.

Lago’s first run of the semifinals was for 41.3 points out of a possible 50.U.S. teammate Greg Bretz was the last of the 12 riders down the course in the semifinals and scored 42.1 points.

Bretz and Lago had the second- and third-highest scores in the semifinals, [Update: Bretz and Lago have now  advanced to the final.]  Teammates Shaun White and Louie Vito already have qualified for the final.

-- Lisa Dillman, reporting from Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Scotty Lago. Credit: Doug Pensinger, Getty Images.