World Championships

Last Saturday, February 5th, 2011, was a historic day.  It was the first time that the FIS Freestyle World Championships was held in the USA.  Representatives from the IOC (International Olympic Committee) were in attendance watching ski pipe and slope.  They were using this event as an evaluation for both events’ possible inclusion in the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014.

Finals started at 11:00 am on Saturday and when the 24 finalists showed up for training the weather was questionable.  Snow was falling and the crosswinds were blowing at about 25 miles an hour.  Keeping your speed up was going to be quite a challenge.  But all of us saw the bigger picture and instead of showing up to be number one that day, we were all on the same mission to put on a good show for the IOC.

We made it through training and by the time the contest got underway the snow had mostly stopped. The pipe was a bit quicker, but the wind still made it nearly impossible to land high tranny on the skier’s left wall.  If you went big enough the gusts would blow you into the middle of the pipe, making it hard to maintain speed into your next hit.

My first run I dropped in with a lot of speed and landed my 900 tail grab high on the wall.  Skiing into the next hit, the inside edge of my left ski got caught in some sluff and spun me out of control into the next hit.  I only scored a 24.8 out of 50 for that run.  Everything would now be riding on my 2nd and final run for the 4th time this season!  Mentally I was freaking out because strange things like this have been happening a lot this year.  It felt that no matter how prepared I have been things outside of my control have been trying to stop me.  On my 2nd run I landed my 900 cleanly, but the wind had its way with me on my alley-oop and I flailed… My alley-oop 5 wasn’t grabbed and I landed low so my speed was slow going into my 540.  I missed the grab on my 540, but carried on… I ended my run with a 720 tail grab and it would be enough for 2nd place.

Considering the conditions of the day, I was happy to be back on the podium and relieved to know that I am still capable of pulling out runs in clutch moments.  The ladies put on a great show with lots of inverts and 900s despite the nasty weather.  I got to share the podium with Roz-G of Canada who took home the gold.  Her consistency this year has been exceptional and her technical run paid off on Saturday.  In 3rd was another Canadian, Keltie Hansen whose amplitude, back-to-back 540s and 720 landed earned her that position.  Sarah Burke took 4th and is letting the world know that her 1st place run at X-Games was no accident. The 5th and 6th place positions were rounded out by Americans Brita Sigourney and Devin Logan.

Though I wanted to win World Champs at home I am really happy with 2nd.  Not to mention I feel like another victory was achieved.  All of us put on a spectacular showing regardless of the weather and without a doubt the IOC took note.  They can walk away saying “even if the weather in Sochi is bad, these athletes will put on good show.” In some ways the weather may have ended up working in our favor.

Follow this link to watch my run: 2nd Place Run World Championships

Thanks for reading… off to Snowbasin this week for the final stop of Dew Tour!