Sports

Japan wins Mens and Womens Moguls at Deer Valley World Cup

DEER VALLEY, Utah — Japanese athletes ruled the Superfinals on the final day of moguls in the Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International FIS World Cup at Deer Valley Resort.

U.S. Ski Team women were a force to be reconned with in both the finals and Superfinals, however, their fourth, fifth, and sixth place results, while helpful in the FIS season standings, didn’t add any new names to the U.S. Olympic Team. The criteria of which are made up of a combination of points, podiums, and rankings.

The U.S. men sent fewer, only one, to the final, and none to the Superfinal. Two-time Olympian Brad Wilson, a Park City skier originally from Montana who coaches on this ski run (Champion), had the U.S.’s highest men’s result today, landing in seventh. Park City’s Cole McDonald, 18, ended his day in 15th place.

Women’s Day Two Moguls Results:

  1. Anri Kawaruma (JPN)
  2. Jakara Anthony (AUS)
  3. Perrine Laffont (FRA)

Men’s Day Two Moguls Results:

  1. Ikuma Horishima (JPN)
  2. Mikael Kingbury (CAN)
  3. Walter Wallberg (SWE)

Seasoned Deer Valley spectators accustomed to cheering dual moguls understood that the non-Olympic duals event made way for singles moguls Olympic qualifying competition three weeks before the Beijing 2022 Games are set to begin. The ski run, Champion, is a 28 degree pitched, three-football field long challenge down, for which the average time today was 26 seconds. Regular skiers have been known to take 26 minutes.

The second day of FIS Moguls World Cup competition in Park City.
The second day of FIS Moguls and the third day overall of World Cup competition in Park City. Photo: Deer Valley (Facebook)

Many countries wear white uniforms in an attempt to hide any skiing mistakes while simultaneously wearing bright-colored knee patches to draw attention to the ideally close-together legs in the turns.

Seven judges score 20% on jumps, and 60% on turns while the clocked speed accounts for the remaining 20% as skiers come down in reverse order by rank. The women sometimes perform jumps called Truck Drivers and Cork 7s and the men truck drivers within cork 7s.

American women, Olivia Giaccio, 15-year-old Elizabeth Lemley, Kai Owens (who jumps the highest degree of difficulty with a cork 1080), and Hannah Soar finished out today in fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh respectively. Tess Johnson from Vail, Colorado jumped a Venom Grab which she invented and thus got to name was ninth. Jaelin Kauf landed in 14th after already making the Olympic Team before the Deer Valley World Cup even began.

Wilson, with his backflip, was trying at this event to get a slot on his third Olympic Team but without a podium today, he will have to continue to wait to see if he gets to go to Beijing in February. In a U.S. Ski Team Zoom press conference on Tuesday, he said, “To qualify for my first Olympics was very cutthroat like it is for the girls this year. My second Olympics was different because we had a couple more spots. Even though we have a cool community of close friends, we are all fighting for that last podium spot which would allow us to qualify for the Olympics a lot easier.”

Soar, who already secured her spot on the Olympic Moguls Team, is from Vermont by way of Connecticut. She said, in all her candor, that she has fear in the jumps and that she does not do well in the cold. She added, “I haven’t had any contact with anyone indoors at this point. You know, we’re doing grocery pickup at Smith’s down the street. I’m staying in a house so I don’t have to go through even a hotel lobby or anything like that. And to be totally transparent with you, it’s definitely is a huge mental toll. Like, it’s hard and when we go skiing even at Deer Valley, I get a little nervous in lift lines with people like really close to you and you know, I have an N95 mask on like, what do you think logistically about it, like you’re probably pretty safe. There’s not much more you can do. But it’s really anxiety-inducing, to be totally honest with you because it’s so out of your control. And I think we’re always seeking to control uncontrollables and this is one where like, you can do your absolute best but you kind of have to juggle your sanity and being able to, like, perform at the Olympics right, and not lose your mind beforehand. We also got to get there and if you test positive you won’t, and that’s a harsh reality at the moment.”

Moguls World Cup.
Moguls World Cup. Photo: Deer Valley Resort (Facebook)
FIS World Cup Moguls.
FIS World Cup Moguls. Photo: Deer Valley Resort (Facebook)

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