The U.S. Freestyle Ski Team laid down World Cup results that looked a lot like those from the 2010 Olympic Games. Vancouver gold medalist Hannah Kearney again claimed gold-this time in Are, Sweden and in dual moguls, and teammate and Olympic bronze medalist Shannon Bahrke took third. Canadian Jennifer Heil finished second-again, just as she did at the Olympics.
“I feel fantastic. With it being the first dual, that’s always a different ballgame,” Kearney said. “To win that as well as being able to win singles is really satisfying. Duals is a tough thing to win because you have to ski five races in a day and that’s a tribute to my consistency.
Bahrke was also pleased with her performance, and was feeling pangs of bittersweet as she plans to retire after the U.S. National Championships at the end of the month, at her home mountain (Squaw Valley). “It’s going to be really hard, but to end things on a good note, I’ll remember how much I kicked ass and I think that’s a good way to go out.”
Fellow U.S. Team bumper Eliza Outtrim just missed the podium, landing in fourth, and 2009 World Champion Pat Deneen took the bronze for the men. “It feels really good to get back on the podium for a second day,” Deneen said. “I was really happy with the way I skied today and with it being the first dual event of the season it’s nice to be on the podium and put down five solid runs.”
Teammate and Olympic bronze medalist Bryon Wilson finished fifth and Telluride native Joe Discoe took eighth. “It was another great day in Sweden,” said Moguls Coach Todd Schirman. “We were very impressed with the performance of the women today – all six athletes making finals. It was great having our Olympic medalists in the gate together going for first and second. And Pat stepped up big with some of the fastest runs we have seen him ski all year.”
The U.S. Freestylers now head to Sierra Nevada, Spain-a new venue-for their final World Cup of the season. “I’m excited to go to a new country that we’ve never been to. A new venue is thrilling. And, I would like to carry this momentum into the last World Cup and end the season on a high note,” Kearney said. “Unfortunately I can’t win the Overall but to rack up another win would be awesome.”