Freestyle skiers in Lake Placid for final pre-Olympic World Cup

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 18, 2010 11:49 am

For most on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, the chance to compete in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver has come down to the wire. Hannah Kearney, Pat Deneen, Jeret Peterson and Lacy Schnoor qualified through winning the December Olympic Trials, but for the rest of the athletes, it’s an open door.

Heather McPhie’s recent win and second-place finish virtually solidify her spot but the rest of the skiers need to shine at Lake Placid to ensure their Olympic guarantee. It’s not that the skiers have been lacking, either. The U.S. Freestyle mogul skiers for example are so strong, that virtually any of the athletes could stand on top of the World Cup (and Olympic podium).

The World Cup Freestyle tour continues Thursday in Lake Placid, NY with the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup. Jan. 21-24 will feature three days of aerials, moguls and ski cross competitions–and one last chance for the athletes to qualify for Vancouver. The official U.S. Olympic Team will be announced in Park City, UT on January 26.
“Lake Placid is a pivotal event for our athletes with the final chance to qualify for the Olympic Team,” said U.S. Ski Team Freestyle Head Coach Jeff Wintersteen. “The battle is especially intense in both men’s and women’s moguls where we still have a large number of athletes who have a chance to get on the podium and possibly grab an Olympic spot. I expect to see an amazing competition in Lake Placid.”

The action is expected to be electrifying. Moguls qualification rounds begin Thursday at 11:30 a.m. on Wilderness at Whiteface Mountain, with finals at 1:15 p.m.

On Friday the focus shifts to the Intervale Jump Complex where the action will take place under the lights and on 2009 World Champion Ryan St. Onge’s training site. ”Coming back to Lake Placid is awesome for me because it feels basically like a home base,” St. Onge said. “I train there five to six months out of the year and for me to get to back and compete there, it’s almost a home court advantage.”

Aerials finals start at 8:00 p.m., followed by the ski cross event back at Whiteface on Saturday and Sunday. The events are all open to the public for free. ”We anticipate another amazing event in Lake Placid, with Olympic spots on the line every day,” said USSA Vice President, Events Calum Clark. “Lake Placid is a great partner and fans can expect to see the best athletes in the world putting on quite a show each day.”


photo: Kathika

2010 Nature Valley Freestyle Cup Schedule:
Thursday, Jan. 21

11:30 a.m. – Moguls qualifying (Wilderness, Whiteface)
1:15 p.m. – Moguls finals (Wilderness, Whiteface)

Friday, Jan. 22
11:30 a.m. – Women’s aerials qualifying (Intervale Jump Complex)
1:15 p.m. – Men’s aerials qualifying (Intervale Jump Complex)
8:00 p.m. – Aerials Finals (Intervale Jump Complex)

Saturday, Jan. 23
10:15 a.m. – Women’s ski cross qualifying (Whiteface)
12:30 p.m. – Men’s ski cross qualifying (Whiteface)

Sunday, Jan. 24
11:30 a.m. – Ski cross finals (Whiteface