DEER VALLEY, Utah — George McQuinn left the starting gate as an American hero, the lone American man to make it into the Final round of competition today however, he crashed on the second jump and left the course on a ski patrol toboggan, receiving an American hero round of applause.
“My Thoughts go out to George McQiunn,” said Mikael Kingsbury, articulating what the whole live and live-streaming audience was thinking. Park City crowds accept Canadian Kingbury as one of their own after winning so many of these annual events, as he did today. A moment before the crash, France’s Perrine Laffont won for the women, as she has many times before. She spoke about how she felt good about her performance on this tough course, and when Laffont speaks, even through two mandatory masks, Park City listens.
Day two out of the three means it’s bump day at Deer Valley. That’s the way the World Cup has done it for these last 24 seasons at the Intermountain Healthcare FIS Freestyle International. Mogul skiers representing US Ski and Snowboard were trying their best to snag a spot on Team USA in the Beijing 2022 Olympics.
Built for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics as the steepest course on the world cup circuit, the ski run Champion seems to taunt Deer Valley’s day skiers. Even Olympians refer to it as a ‘scary monster’. Day skiers, today, however, got a rare chance to slow down, stop and spectate the event during operating hours as opposed to the competition held under the lights every other year.
Freestyle single’s mogul skiers’ results are both objective and subjective as they race against the clock and are also judged on-air (two jumps) and on turns.
Women’s Singles Moguls results:
- Perine Laffont, FRA
- Anri Kawamura, JPN
- Jakara Anthony, AUS
Men’s Singles Moguls Results:
- Mikael Kingbury, CAN
- Ikuma Horishima, JPN
- Kosuke Sugimoto, JPN
McQuinn gets a sixth place.
Five American women and five men made it into to second Final today but no names were added to Beijing Olympic rosters, something athletes have one more day, tomorrow, to try to change.
USA’s Olivia Giaccio and the youngest female here, 15-year-old American Elizabeth Lemley, made it not only into the Small Final but then into the Big Final. Australia’s Jakara Anthony put on an absolute clinic for the women down the course’s first Final run. Lemley skied out of the course in the Big Final.
A little bit older than Lemley is Nick Page. Although he qualified to ski in the Small Final, he opted out sustaining an injury in training that ended his day.
Page, who was born in the year of the Salt Lake 2002, was the 2021 Team Rookie of the Year and attends Park City’s Winter Sports School attended Tuesday night’s Zoom press conference. He said, “It really starts from when you pull up to Deer Valley. I remember my mom would pick me up from school, I’d get ready in the car, she’d drop me off and I’d go straight to the lift line. And there was a level of, like, dedication in the customer experience here that really makes this place different than every other ski resort in the world. Like, if you were gonna put it in the same conversation as something, it’d be, like, Augusta National, it’s that high in that pristine of a place because they take so much care in everything they do. And you take that into the mogul course and the Champion run like it’s, you know, every single mogul is, is shaped, is done to a degree that, you know, you don’t see that, that attention to detail at a lot of places that we go and it makes such a difference in just making it so special for us. So being able to kind of grow up in that atmosphere here and have that kind of sense of, like, a sense of it really being meaningful to the people that are doing it because they know they’re making a difference to the person that’s actually using whatever it is, whether it be that mogul course or the lift line. You know, whether it just be the lifty saying ‘Hi’ to you and asking you how your day is, there’s such attention to detail it really makes this place special.”
2018 Olympian Jaelin Kauf, 26, didn’t make it out of today’s qualification round. She grew up in Wyoming and Colorado and currently lives in Salt Lake City. Kauf, whose parents were elite mogul skiers appearing in iconic ski film pioneer Warren Miller’s productions said Tuesday night, “The best advice I got was, from my mom, like a few years ago at Deer Valley. I had a really tough first day of competing and didn’t qualify for finals and everything was going poorly and I was just having a breakdown. And she just asked if, if it was fun, if it was what I want to do. That’s all that mattered. So all I had to do was go out the next day and have fun and not worry about the results or the medals or the qualifications or whatnot.”
Catch the last day of Deer Valley Dual Moguls action tomorrow (Full Schedule Here).